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Can Stem Cells Bring Back the Dead?

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 5 June 2017
Can Stem Cells Bring Back the Dead?

The next chapter of stem cell research? Bringing back the dead.

When one considers "bringing someone back from the dead", it conjures macabre images of Zombies and Frankenstein. That ghoulish diction isn't really synonymous with a potential ground-breaking discovery in stem cell research, but a life sciences company named Bioquark, Inc. is embarking upon studies to bring brain dead patients back to life.

The science of stem cell resurrection

How is Bioquark leveraging cells in hopes of playing God?

Isolating stem cells taken from a patient's fat or blood, an then combined with a peptide formula, the mixture is injected into the spinal cord - which if successful, would nurture the growth of new neurons. Following the stem cell injections, a strict routine of nerve stimulation and laser therapy will be implemented over a 15-day span, in attempts to spur the neurons to form connections.

If successful, the patient's brain activity would be jolted to life, similar to a car being re-started by jumper cables.

Roadblocks ahead

While stem cell injections have some proven success in the past for children with brain injuries, the effectiveness of transcranial laser devices is unproven, only showing limited success in stimulating neuron growth in animal studies.

Plus, laser therapy has previously failed in attempts to stimulate neuron growth in stroke patients.

There's been a few positive results in case studies, helping a handful of patients recover successfully from comas. But in those cases, it was only effective in patients with functional brain stems; brain dead patients do not have functional brain stems.

Bioquark has never tested this treatment on any animal or person who was brain dead.

Reasons for hope

Bioquark believes their technique could work similarly as it does for coma patients, thanks to a small nest of cells that still function in brain dead patients.

Complicating matters further, is there are no tests to even confirm brain death, so even if there is a recovery, there's not necessarily a way to claim recovery was due to treatment.

Morbid gimmickry or wide-eyed ambition?

Is Bioquark playing the role of benevolent stem cell researchers, hoping to make positive changes in medicine? Or mad scientists ruled by ambition, stopping at nothing to make their mark in the world of stem cell science?

While Bioquark's experiments could potentially save lives, the lack of supportive research would make the brain dead patients akin to human guinea pigs. It's one thing to run lab tests on cadavers, but something different to get the hopes up of the families of brain dead patients. Bioquark may have difficulty finding subjects for these tests, and if it is just "quackery" and an attempt to make a name for a life science company, then it is morally reprehensible.

On the other hand, what is more regenerative than regenerating someone's life? If stem cell regeneration gives life back to a human brain, it would illuminate the healing power and recuperative abilities of stem cell injections, offering real hope to some very sick people and their families.

Needless to say, this is a bold experiment with curious implications.


Maybe this will work, and stem cells can bring back the dead! Until then, RegenerVate happily offers services to the living. Our regenerative medicines and stem cell injection therapies help recuperate tendon, muscle, and meniscal tears, as well as arthritis and other ailments.

Call us today at 1-855-712-9901 to schedule an appointment, or drop by one of our RegenerVate locations!

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Stoddard is a sport medicine and injection physician in Toronto and is the Medical Director of RegenerVate. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sport Medicine. His injection training, including ultrasound, PRP and Prolotherapy, was primarily done in the USA. He is a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), is married and a proud father of two boys. He is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: Stem Cell Research

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