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article imageTrial attempts to reverse brain death

By Tim Sandle     May 4, 2016 in Science
Can brain death be reversed? This may sound the stuff of science fiction, but some leading biotechnology companies have been given the go ahead to run an experiment.
When brain death occurs, although the body may still appear alive when plugged into a respirator and other medical equipment, the person is past the point of no return even though biological processes continue. In fact, brain death is one of the two ways of determination of death along with irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions.
Currently, no study has ever succeeded in reviving "dead" brain cells. However two companies, independently, have received approval in the U.S. to attempt to revive dead brain cells. The companies are Bioquark and Revita Life Sciences. Dr. Ira Pastor, the CEO of Bioquark Inc. told The Daily Telegraph: “This represents the first trial of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime."
The two firms will attempt multiple techniques to try and regenerate brains in 20 patients over the course of six weeks. Consent has been gained from the families of the people who are in a comatose state, only "alive" by artificial means. The techniques to be tried, according to Engadet, include lasers, nerve stimulation and injections of peptides and stem cells.
These methods are grouped under the umbrella term "biologic regenerative medicine tools." The peptides will be administered via the spinal cord daily and the stem cells will be given bi-weekly.
The studies are proof of concept studies. The chances of success are slim — the main hope is that some encouraging data is generated that can lead to further research. The trial program comes under the study plan "Non-randomized, Open-labeled, Interventional, Single Group, Proof of Concept Study With Multi-modality Approach in Cases of Brain Death Due to Traumatic Brain Injury Having Diffuse Axonal Injury."
More about Brain death, Brains, Brain cells, Life
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