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To be excited about the possibility of a successful head transplant!

(65 Posts)
BorrowedHeart Tue 28-Mar-17 17:09:14

I am genuinely excited about this, even if it doesn't work there is still so much to learn. What are people thoughts on it? How does it sit with you?

I'm excited but that's because my daughter has had a heart transplant and even before hen transplants have fascinated me, if this works it could mean so much to people who aren't able to move and might want to, even just to know if it can work is enough for me.

LadyDeadpool Tue 28-Mar-17 17:14:16

I'm really weirded out by it tbh! I mean it's amazing that it's even an actual possibility but still how strange!

CaptainBraandPants Tue 28-Mar-17 17:28:39

It's not a head transplant, though, is it? It should be being called a body transplant.
I think it's interesting, both medically and ethically.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 28-Mar-17 17:35:17

It should be being called a body transplant

It is (there was a piece in New scientist a while back). Although our bodies do affect our minds in all sorts of ways, so I suppose the result would be, what, more of a macroscopic-level chimera?

reallyanotherone Tue 28-Mar-17 17:40:08

Have you seen the video of the monkey who had a head transplant?

It's fucking heartbreaking and i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Unless they can figure out how to fix spinal cord injury first, it's never going to happen. Head/body transplant would involve severing the spinal cord at some point so best case would be you're alive, but completely paralysed.

It horrifies me that it's even being considered.

scaredofthecity Tue 28-Mar-17 17:43:25

I think it is wrong on so many levels, and I have been involved in multiple organ transplants.

If you do some research tissue transplants (such as hands ect) are not very successful and have horrific side effects such as cancer and other life limiting conditions due to the anti-rejection drugs.

I can't remember the exact specifics but I'm sure the life expectancy of the transplant is only about 5 years.

Obviously a new body will dramatically change somebody who is quadriplegic's life but at what cost? There is far more exciting stuff happening in electrical stimulating of the brain.

I would be very surprised (and shocked) if this were to actually happen.

Satishouse Tue 28-Mar-17 17:43:55

The surgeon has been widely condemned for even considering doing this. It won't end well

reallyanotherone Tue 28-Mar-17 17:49:34

Ah, read the news articles now.

Surely the first logical step would be to try this amazing "nerve glue" he has developed on para/tetraplegics.

If they up and walk within the month like he claims, there may be something worth investigating.

The fact he can't do this makes me think he's utterly mad.

WaegukSaram Tue 28-Mar-17 17:52:05

It's fascinating in a car crash way. I also don't think there's much guarantee of success though.

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 28-Mar-17 17:54:11

Ethically, if this nerve glue works, he should definitely be using it to help those with spinal cord damage first. What is the point of a body transplant if you are still paralysed from the neck down?!

HelenaWay Tue 28-Mar-17 18:01:04

I think it's awful.

Has the surgeon actually been granted permission now then?

CaseyAtTheBat Tue 28-Mar-17 18:02:54

What is even the point?

reallyanotherone Tue 28-Mar-17 18:06:20

* What is the point of a body transplant if you are still paralysed from the neck down*

Paralysed, and unable to breathe on your own, and likely in shit loads of pain. Plus on immunosuppressants, so you'd likely be dead fairly soon from infection or one of the othe complications of being paralysed.

Yeah. Really excited about it.

anotherpoisonprince Tue 28-Mar-17 18:11:37

I think it's heartbreaking. Myuch mourned soul mate had CF and I am usually the first to champion and transplant progress.
But this news I find incredibly upsetting. For the same reasons as reallyanotherone has mentioned.

DevelopingDetritus Tue 28-Mar-17 18:17:24

I think they should concentrate on spinal cord injuries first. This seems sensationalism to me.

boopsy Tue 28-Mar-17 18:17:56

Reallyanotherone, i agree it is the worst kind of cruelty i have ever seen against an animal, poor thing must have been so confused its like a horror film and actually stayed with me for a while even though i generally accept animal testing for medical reasons. I think the whole idea is grim beyond words and hope it never happens. The ethical concerns are huge, for example if you have children the eggs/sperm do not belong to you but to the dead body donor, would we really let people go around having dead peoples kids? Ergh no, just no i honestly think it is a fate worse than death.

BorrowedHeart Wed 29-Mar-17 01:51:16

sacred my daughter is at risk from cancer from her anti rejection drugs that she lives on due to a heart transplant, what's the difference?

BorrowedHeart Wed 29-Mar-17 01:57:04

Spinal cord injury in the event of a crash etc is completely different to slicing one surgically.
Think of it like a rope, (the nerves) if you slice it it's easier to put back together, if it is torn it's not as easy. Making a clean cut while knowing where each part that needs to be reconnected is, would be a lot easier to put back together than one that was damaged.

Take my daughters heart condition, the actual disease she had couldn't be cured, but a new heart would do the job. A body that doesn't work and can't be fixed would be easier to replace entirely with a working body.
I find it all fascinating, no one thought the first heart transplant would go well or that it was ethical, but thanks to those who tried it my daughter is still alive.

BorrowedHeart Wed 29-Mar-17 01:59:24

casey the 'point' would be to help a man use a body and have some independence, rather than slowly dying and losing all movement entirely. He said himself, he is going to die anyway so would rather try something that could help others, and if he dies it doesn't matter as that was what he was heading towards already. I think he is a brave man to volunteer, and I really hope it goes well, or we learn something from trying.

mommy2ash Wed 29-Mar-17 07:03:31

If if did work it would require a donor with a healthy body surely. I can't see it being easy sourcing healthy dead bodies. They would need to be relatively young and have no organ or spinal cord damage.

I'm all for organ donation but I think this is a step too far.

shockshockhorror Wed 29-Mar-17 07:40:41

Can someone tell me what happened with the monkey? I don't want to google because I don't want to see the video but I would like to know the science... thank you.

QueenArseClangers Wed 29-Mar-17 08:46:40

www.buzzfeed.com/azeenghorayshi/no-head-transplants-are-definitely-not-going-to-happen?utm_term=.pdY9k48B4#.qh1OA4Wq4

QueenArseClangers Wed 29-Mar-17 08:47:17

^ this article from Buzzfeed is from 2015.

PlayOnWurtz Wed 29-Mar-17 09:20:08

I agree it won't end well until we develop the ability to repair spinal cord injuries. If the surgeon thinks that's possible then why isn't the science already in use? That's got far more widespread use than random body or head transplants

CaseyAtTheBat Wed 29-Mar-17 09:28:11

Spinal cord injury in the event of a crash etc is completely different to slicing one surgically. Think of it like a rope, (the nerves) if you slice it it's easier to put back together, if it is torn it's not as easy. Making a clean cut while knowing where each part that needs to be reconnected is, would be a lot easier to put back together than one that was damaged.

You're vastly underestimating the complexity of the spinal cord. And its not just that anyway, its not like there is one little cord you can just stick together. There are MILLIONS of connections. Even if you could connect them all, you could never do it in the time you had (which would likely be maximum an hour before the brain died). And it STILL wouldn't work anyway.

This is fantasy stuff. And who is going to donate their body to have someone elses body stuck on to it anyway? No thanks, not interested.

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