Brain death in humans is usually considered irreversible; however two biotech companies believe that they can bring the dead back. The U.S. biotech company Bioquark Inc. has been given regulatory approval to do just that.
Bioquark and Revita Life Sciences believe bringing the dead back to life is highly possible using modern technology. They have recently received the approval from American and Indian review boards to conduct their trial.
Now with approval they are seeking 20 dead participants for their clinical trial that will commence at Anupam Hospital in India. To be illegible patients must be certified dead and be being kept alive only by life support. The trial is called “the Reanima Project.”
Ira Pastor, the chief executive of Philadelphia-based Bioquark, said:
“This represents the first trial of its kind and another step toward the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime.
“We just received approval for our first 20 subjects and we hope to start recruiting patients immediately from this first site — we are working with the hospital now to identify families where there may be a religious or medical barrier to organ donation.”
The project will begin with “First in Human Neuro-Regeneration and Neuro-Reanimation,” a proof of concept trial, this will test the project’s methods before moving onto the more complex efforts. During this six-week stage, the researchers will be injecting peptides into the patients’ spinal cords each day; injections of stem cells will also be conducted twice a week.
By using brain imaging, the team will be monitoring the participant’s brains for any signs of regeneration. They will be paying particular attention to the upper spinal cord and brainstem, which is the region that controls independent breathing and heartbeat. Laser therapy and nerve stimulation will also be used to attempt to increase the level of alertness among the patients.
Dr. Sergei Paylian, the founder, president, and chief science officer of Bioquark, said in a statement:
“Through our study, we will gain unique insights into the state of human brain death, which will have important connections to future therapeutic development for other severe disorders of consciousness, such as coma, and the vegetative and minimally conscious states, as well as a range of degenerative (central nervous system) conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”
The researchers hope that the brain stem cells will wipe their history, and start things over again like a reset button. This trial isn’t expected to bring people back to life, it’s just a “proof of concept” study to see if the idea is viable.
Bioquark and Revita Life are walking a fine ethical line; however the larger debate will revolve around whether someone should be brought back to life. While the brain may once again start regulating body functions, you may never get the same person you once knew.