Tuesday 22 May 2018

30-year-old man hopes to be the first to undergo 'head transplant'

The man volunteered in an attempt to thwart terminal illness

Valery Spiridonov-5-EAST2WEST NEWS, queries Will Stewart 0079859989400.jpg
Valery Spiridonov-5-EAST2WEST NEWS, queries Will Stewart 0079859989400.jpg
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

A Russian man is hoping to be the first person to undergo a controversial 'head transplant' surgery - and live to tell the tale.

Valery Spiridinov(30), suffers from Werdnig-Hoffman disease, a terminal muscle-wasting disease which has stopped his muscle growth, leaving his muscles unable to support his adult frame.

Italian neurosurgeon Dr Sergio Canavero has reportedly been in talks with Spiridinov (over Skype) for the last two years, and published a paper on the proposed surgery in February.

The surgery would involve the removal of Spiridinov's head via a 'clean cut' to his spinal column, and the reattachment of his head to a healthy, functional body belonging to a brain-dead donor.

The major nerves and arteries would be rejoined and the spinal column injected with polyethylene glyco to encourage cell membranes to join.

Canavero believes that Spiridinov would be able to retain his own voice.

Once the major nerves and arteries have been rejoined, the spinal column would be injected with polyethylene glyco, a substance that encourages the fat in cell membranes to join.

Spiridinov would then be in an induced coma for several weeks and electrodes used to stimulate new nerve connections.

Speaking to the Mail Online, Spiridinov said "of course" he was afraid of the surgery.

"you have to understand that I don’t really have many choices.... With every year my state is getting worse.”


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