Stem cells appear more and more as a serious way to treat many nervous diseases: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, brain damage… So why not repair the brains of the dead to bring them back to life ? This project, worthy of a sci-fi (or horror) film scenario , is the crazy project carried by an American company based in Philadelphia: Bioquark.
And this is not the very first time that this company wants to participate in an experiment of this kind . In 2016, the ReAnima project was launched in India, in Bangalore, with Himanshu Bansal, an orthopedic surgeon from Anupam Hospital. His project was to combine several techniques to “reanimate” 20 brain dead people.
Again, the clinical trial would consist of injecting the patient’s stem cells, fat, blood… Then, a mixture of peptides would be injected. in the spinal cord to promote the growth of new neurons. This mixture, called BQ-A, has been tested in animal models of melanoma and head trauma. To this would be added nerve stimulation and laser therapy of 15days to push neurons to make nerve connections . Researchers could then follow the effects of this treatment using electroencephalograms.
An essay that would give families a false and cruel hope of recovery.
But such a protocol raises many questions: how to conduct a clinical trial on officially deceased people? If the person regains some brain activity , what state will they be? Are we giving false hope to families with a treatment that is likely to be long?
However, there is nothing to suggest that such a protocol could work. The company hasn’t even tested the full treatment on animal models! The treatments mentioned, such as injection of stem cells or transcranial stimulation, could be tested in other situations, but not in the case of brain death. In a 2016 article, neurologist Ariane Lewis and bioethics specialist Arthur Caplan reported that the experiment had no scientific basis and gave families a “false and cruel hope of a cure”. “