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Is brain death reversible? Here’s what new research suggests

13 May 2022 - 07:38 By Staff Reporter
New research has raised the possibility of reversing brain death. Stock image.
New research has raised the possibility of reversing brain death. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/leolintang

Researchers have taken the saying “back from the dead” to a new level with a discovery that may one day make brain death reversible.

Scientists have managed to bring the eyes of dead organ donors back to life by proving “photosensitive cells in the retina could still respond to light and communicate with each other up to five hours after death, sending signals ‘resembling those recorded from living subjects’”, in research quoted by Daily Mail.

The neurons in the retina form part of the central nervous system, which includes the spinal cord and brain, according to the site. 

The breakthrough raises the possibility that other cells within the system could also be raised and “could eventually lead to bringing back human consciousness in patients who have suffered brain death”, researchers claim.

The authors, writing in the journal Nature, said their study “raises the question of whether brain death, as it is currently defined, is truly irreversible”.

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