A 30-year-old Russian man with a degenerative disease has volunteered for the world’s first human head transplant operation.
Researchers have seriously questioned the feasibility of the operation proposed by Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero.
But Valery Spiridonov, a computer scientist from the Russian town of Vladimir, about 160 kilometers east of Moscow, says he wants to undergo the operation within the next two years.
Spiridonov was diagnosed at the age of 1 with Werdnig-Hoffman disease, a rare genetic muscle wasting condition also referred to as type 1 spinal muscular atrophy.
Spiridonov said donors could be victims of road traffic accidents or prisoners sentenced to death.
Canavero says the two major challenges in the operation would be to reconnect a severed spinal cord to another spinal cord, and to stop the immune system from rejecting the head.
But he says recent animal studies have shown the procedure is “feasible.”
Canavero is to present updated plans for the project, known as Heaven-Gemini, at a medical conference in Maryland in June.