Top stories

Valery Spiridonov, a man who has volunteered to be the first person to undergo a head transplant, attends a news conference in Vladimir, Russia, June 25, 2015. The 30-year-old Russian, who has a degenerative muscle condition known as Werdnig-Hoffman, wants to become the first person ever to undergo a human head transplant. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTR4YX94

Human head transplant moves a step closer

An Italian neurosurgeon has moved closer to his goal of transplanting a human head, revealing a virtual reality system that will “prepare patients for life in a new body”.

Professor Sergio Canavero wants to carry out the operation for the first time next year, saying it could help those paralysed from the neck down to walk again.

Valery Spiridonov, a Russian man with a genetic muscle-wasting disease, has volunteered to be the first patient.

In January, Mr Canavero worked with Chinese researchers to do a head transplant on a monkey, connecting the animal’s blood supply after the operation to prove it could survive without brain injuries.

The monkey was only kept alive for 20 hours, as the team did not join its spinal cords, meaning it would have been paralysed.

 

Credit: Sky News