In an advance study, researchers have succeeded to restore some brain functions in pigs. As per a team of Yale scientists, the pigs were butchered before four hours when they revived the cells. In future, the finding may result in approaches in treating human stroke and brain injuries. The team found that science can stop cell death and restore the connections in the brain, even after death. For the new research, published in the journal Nature, scientists collected 32 brains from the dead animals. After four hours, they linked those brains to a system engineered by Yale. The machine regularly pumped a specially designed fluid (containing artificial blood), for six hours.
As a result, scientists saw a reduction in the death of brain cells along with the recovery of particular brain activities. The team revealed that those brains also normally responded to drugs and utilised a similar amount of oxygen as that of an alive one. Although, the semi-dead brains did not reveal any signs of neural activities that would point awareness or sensitivity. They remained dead for all objectives and perceptions. Senior scientist Dr Nenad Sestan said the brains were only cellularly active and revealed no large-scale electrical activity.
Dr Sestan spotted the discovery have a severe impact on stroke therapies and other diseases that result in the death of brain cells. Stephen Latham, study’s co-author, said this process could prove helpful to reserve organs gathered for donations. On the other hand, the finding has emerged some ethical problems. The team purchased the pig heads from a nearby food processing plant. Thus no pigs were killed for the purpose of the experiment. They also took additional efforts to gain permission from various ethics boards. Scientists also received approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Yale University and the Neuroethics Working Group of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to the authors, the study does not offer any immediate innovation for humans. While the core abstract of the finding is the brain might have more potential than previously thought.