The idea is pretty horrifying. Find some brain dead people, not just those in comas, but those really brain dead, with no brain stem function. In other words, if the respirator and a variety of other aides fail, these patients quietly decompose. A US company Bioquark Inc. (I almost typed Bioquack), has been given ethical permission to find 20 patients and try to, well, revive their brains. Watching one episode of The Walking Dead shows this could be a bad idea. Death is a natural process and reversing it??? well, it turns out even vampires get tired of living.
The first stage of the ReAnima Project as outlined by Dr. Ira Pastor, Bioquark CEO, will be conducted in India where a cocktail of peptides, electrical stimulation and infusions of stem cells will be used to try and reverse the brain damage. People with brain stem death have permanently lost the potential for consciousness and the capacity to breathe. If some function can return to the brain stem, it could be considered a success. Similar procedures will be undertaken in the United States with the 20 "volunteers."
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells. This means they have the capacity be be specialized and become any cell in the body. It is hoped that the infusion of stem cells will "take" and function in place of the damaged brain cells. Stem cell therapy has been used successfully to repair heart tissue, eyes and blood disorders but there's a lot that isn't understood. Peptides can act as neurotransmitters, chemicals that transport nervous impulses from neuron to neuron. The electro-stimulation might "spark" the nerve cells so they fire. The basic nerve impulse is an electro-chemical event so perhaps the combination of these therapies can repair and wake some of the brain up.
I am not convinced. The "volunteers" couldn't speak for themselves so the procedure is without their consent. There will be no miraculous return from the dead; just a maybe some of the brain stem cells will fire again. I could be too negative. The research could lead to new treatments for such brain diseases as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and comas. Perhaps it will but when its purpose it to re-animate the brain dead, it is wrong.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.