People who have had their brains cryogenically frozen could be ‘woken up’ within three years, a pioneering Italian surgeon has claimed.
Professor Sergio Canavero, Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, is aiming to carry out the first human head transplant within 10 months and then wants to begin trials on brain transplants.
If the procedures are successful, he believes that frozen brains could be thawed and inserted into a donor body.
Hundreds of people who are dying or paralysed have had their bodies or brains cryogenically preserved in the hope that medical science will be able to bring them back to life and cure their conditions.
Although many experts are sceptical that huge organs like the brain can be thawed without damage, Prof Canavero said he believes the first frozen head could soon be resurrected.
Speaking to the German magazine Ooom, he said he planned to awaken patients frozen by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation which is based in Arizona.
“We will try to bring the first of the company’s patients back to life, not in 100 years. As soon as the first human head transplant has taken place, i.e. no later than 2018, we will be able to attempt to reawaken the first frozen head,” said Prof Canavero.
“We are currently planning the world’s first brain transplant, and I consider it realistic that we will be ready in three years at the latest.