Recently, a neurosurgeon named Sergio Canavero claimed that head transplant has been successfully done to a monkey. According to Canavero, since up until his procedure no cure for paralysis has yet to be discovered.
"Gene therapy has failed. Stem cells, we're still waiting. Even if they come now, for these patients there is no hope. Tetraplegia can only be cured with this. Long term, the body decays, organs decay. You have to give them a new body because even if you take care of the cord, you're going nowhere" explained Canavero.
For the doctor the only possible cure for paralysis is the head transplant. Canavero however was quick to admit that his research still has a long way. According to him, more studies are needed however his aim is to have human head transplant ready before 2017 ends.
The head transplant's process starts off with the removal of the patient's head which would be placed on the donor's body with a glue like material called polyethylene glycol in order to reconnect the ends of the spinal cord. The muscle and blood supply will be stitched in order to avoid blood loss, the patient would have to be in coma for 4 weeks in order for the spinal cord to reach its healing point.
Canavero already found his first patient - a Russian named Valery Spriridonov who suffers from genetic muscle-wasting disease. In one of the reports Canavero pleaded to Russian billionaires and even Mark Zuckerberg to fund his study saying:
'I'm asking today Russian billionaires and also foreign billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg, who is already sponsoring much of this life extension research, and this is certainly about extending life, to finance, to bankroll the first head transplant in Russia on Valery Spiridonov.'
Despite Canavero's enthusiasm, not everyone is a fan of his recent claims. Some critics are apprehensive about the procedure thinking that it kind of gruesome to do such thing.