First Successful Brain Transplant

Recently, French scientists at the University of Southern North Dakota – Baltimore performed the first successful human brain transplant. Said the chief neurosurgeon, Dr. Cranial Head, MD, “This is a breakthrough of unprecedented magnitude. I’m ecstatic 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 being 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,” said Dr. Head. “My colleague, Dr. Sarah 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 Stephen Cabeza who suffered an unexpected heart attack. He was not only young but also in good health. The Cabeza family wishes 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 splices individual axons to the new spinal cord when the transplant brain is placed on top.

“It’s incredible,” said Dr. Head, “surprisingly we don’t have 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 Jose was gone forever but Dr. Head saved him. He doesn’t know who any of us are, of course, and calls himself Stephen but we are all willing to work with the new Jose and learn to love him and hope he will learn to love us.” The medical team, however, remains baffled why Jose insists his name is Stephen. When asked if he planned on returning to work at his veterinary clinic, 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.

Disclaimer: this post was written in 2008 as an April Fool’s Day joke years before the idea of a head/body transplant was popularized by news media. It was written years before the “Fake News” trendy label. This post is completely made up and was written to be humorous. Surgeons cannot at the present time perform brain transplants, regardless of what is published online. The surgeon who claims he can perform a head transplant will not be successful. The idea of a brain/head/body replacement is interesting both as a potential medical advancement and as a point of ethical discussion. Is it theoretically possible? Yes. Will it happen anytime soon? No. Should it happen? That’s a discussion for another time.

40 Replies to “First Successful Brain Transplant”

  1. This message is messed up. I am doing a project for a school and actually needed info and tougt this would help but obviously not.

  2. im bit confuse, when the brain transplant successfuly, are the memory remain to the new body? need ASAP reply

  3. This is the best information we have about brain transplants; namely, we cannot do them. My post was satirical.

  4. @kaley
    I know! I need info for school too… and I was extremely hopeful.. until I read it. For anyone who wants to know more. NOVA has an article on it.

  5. That Nova article ( is making guesses about what we might be able to do many years in the future. As an example, here is a quote from that Nova article by someone who is even willing to speculate about this: “As a scientist, you never say never, because you never know what will be within the realm of possibility several centuries from now.” As helpful brain transplants might be in some cases, if we can ever do it, we are many, many years away. That is even supposing it would be deemed ethical, which I doubt. Now what is more feasible and ethical is transplanting parts of the brain – a new hippocampus or some other part – to regain lost functions. A whole brain though? Not for a long time if ever.

  6. Sure this was false but dosent mean it’s impossible. What about the Russian scientist who kept a dogs head alive while detached from it’s body? It’s was awake and responsive too. He also did head transplants on monkies.

  7. this info sucks its really not gettin mii anywhere and i need info for a project mi and mii friend is doing on the brain the first transplant and the first doctor who performed the transplant this is fake!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Ahahahahaha!! I read all this open mouthed and didn’t even get it was a joke til the last paragraph – I was reading the stuff about nanoglue and just going what the HECK that could be so useful!! Whoever wrote this, classic!

  9. It’ll be a long time until we can do this, if ever. The real question is is it even ethical? Should we do it?

  10. I guess I should’ve realized this wasn’t a true story when I read the name, Dr. Crainial Head.. Funny..

  11. If you were to have a brain transplant and you switched into a different
    person’s body, the babies you have in the new body will not be “yours.”
    eg. brain of white man transplanted into indian man. Although you are
    white you will have indian babies as you are using the indian man’s
    body’s sperm.

    Also if a man was to have a brain transplant into
    the body of a female, this will be a complete sex change. So if you were
    a man in a female’s body and you start dating a female are you lesbian
    or straight and vice versa for the other gender??

  12. I was instantly scepticle but knew for sure it was made up with the super detailed name of the patient who wanted to remain anonymous lmao loved that. Somehow missed the name of the doctor… i guess cuz i work in HR at a hospital and know how odd the names of many doctors are!

  13. This is not a true story,cause 31st August,2016 I read an article on a newspaper daily that there were no successful Brain transplant happened in medical history.There were many animals brains transplants happened but all in vain.All those animals breathed their last after some times.

  14. IMHO if you have to defend your piece as satire, then maybe it is not. Good satire should take us from the plateau of believability to the edge of cynicism, before throwing us head down into the valley of disbelief.

  15. although this story is fake, the research is true. i plan on doing my first one next month. i’ll be in touch to let you know the results.

  16. While reading I understood that it is fake. We cannot splice nerves with glue. Living body parts cannot be joined by glue. Tissues have to grow to join.
    But a talented writing it is.

  17. I wouldn’t say that this is impossible. If someone became dedicated enough and figured out how to successfully splice the nerves to the other body then it would be totally possible. Our technology is advancing every day so this may be possible in the next 10 years

  18. Absolutely interesting. My thought process is that person would still see themselves as the teacher whom had the heart attack. It seems that maybe what they are dealing with. As I sit and discuss this subject with my significant other I say, “I’m sure if he was to see the parents of who produced the brain he would recognize them as his parents.” This is an awesome break through in brain transplants

  19. Pingback: Happy Brain Transplant Day! – The WikiAnswers Blog: The World of Answers
  20. I know this article is satirical, but can an alien transplant a human brain?

    Not illegal alien though, they generally aren’t neurological surgeons.

  21. I just finished reading a short story from 1959 called “William and Mary”. It’s about a brain transplant whereby the cancer stricken William’s brain would be removed from his skull and kept alive and concious on artificial heart and whatnot.

    It got me thinking a lot so I began googling about brain transplant. This article showed up. Reading I was so amazed. Then the physics part showed up and I was like “creeepie. Looks like Jose died and the dead teacher is back…” I had believed everything here until I saw in your comments that it was just another April fool’s article. Lols

  22. The comments are almost as entertaining as the original post–a perfect example of BOTH satire AND why my students need to think when they are using the internet. Thanks!

  23. Dr.Head of course it was made up as per the quote from your own link, “As of 2018 no durable success had been achieved.”

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