Recently, scientists at the University of California – North by Northeast performed the first successful human brain transplant. Said the lead neurosurgeon, Dr. Cranial Head, MD, “This is a breakthrough of unprecedented magnitude. I’m ecstatic that all our research and hard work finally paid off. We couldn’t be more pleased with how things turned out.”
The patient, who only agreed to be called Jose Ivanovich O’Malley, III for anonymity reasons, suffered a massive anterior communicating arterial stroke that left him severely incapacitated. He was a veterinarian at a local clinic before his stroke. His family heard about the research Dr. Head’s team was doing with rats and contacted him about the possibility of his first human subject. Dr. Head agreed immediately, “I saw this as the perfect opportunity to advance our research out of animals and into humans. We’ve had great success – recently – with brain transplants in rats so it was only logical to start human trials.”
“This new brain transplant surgery is quite remarkable, actually,” said Dr. Head. “My colleague, Dr. Inis Wu, and I first came up with the idea 40 years ago while we were competing in a triathlon. It came out of the blue, really, neither of us are quite sure why we thought of it but here we are.”
What’s remarkable about the surgery is that it is done all under local anesthetic and the patient is kept talking throughout the procedure, except for the time when the brains are switched (during this time the patient is placed on life support). In this case, the transplanted brain came from a local high school physics teacher who suffered a sudden and unexpected heart attack. He was not only young but also in good health. His family has chosen to also remain anonymous. The transplanted brain is removed from the original body and cooled to halt neuronal death. The end of the severed spinal column is treated with a new nanoglue that automatically starts splicing individual axons to the new spinal cord when the transplant brain is placed on top.
“It’s incredible,” said Dr. Head, “we actually don’t have that much work to do because with this new nanoglue the process of reconnecting nerve fibers is automatic. It only takes 4 minutes. We just inspect the brain and spinal cord to make sure everything is lined up correctly. The nanoglue is also applied to areas like the optic nerves, that need to be spliced into the new brain.”
After the surgery, Jose made a speedy recovery. Within 24 hours he was moving his limbs and within a week he was walking and talking. His wife said, “It’s a miracle. We thought that Jose was gone forever but Dr. Head saved him. He doesn’t know who any of us are, of course, because he has a new brain but we are all willing to work with the new Jose and learn to love him and hope he will learn to love us.” When asked if he planned on returning to work, Jose stated that he couldn’t wait to return to teaching physics. “I’ve always had a love of physics. There’s something about gravity research that really attracts me.” Jose doesn’t remember any of his past self or his work as a veterinarian but has accepted the story of the doctors and his new family.
Disclaimer: the previous post is meant to be humorous. Surgeons have not performed and cannot at the present time perform brain transplants. It is not possible to perform a brain surgery at this time, regardless of what you might have read online or heard.