He unveiled his plans in Annapolis, Maryland, during a 2.5 hour presentation at a conference of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons. During the presentation, Canavero introduced the man who has volunteered to be the first human to undergo a head transplant.
This man, Russian-born ValerySpiridonov, is 30 years old.Spiridonov suffers from an incurable, progressive wasting ailment known asWerdnig-Hoffmann disease. If successful, a head transplant surgery could prolong his lie.
Canavero spoke during his presentation about how he would mend the severed spinal cord, which would be crucial for any such surgery, and explained major advances in the field, particularly with regards to animals.
The trick, he says, is to cut the cord with a nano blade, then use polyethylene glycol and an electrical current in a rather Frankenstein-esque manner to speed and promote the reattachment of nerve fibers cut during the surgery.