To Live Again

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Patient N had had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for most of the last decade of his life. At the time of the procedure, he was unable to recognize his face in a mirror. His family were complete strangers to him, and he spent most of his time staring blankly at the television in his bedroom. He had fully reverted to a state of “second infancy”. He was a prime candidate.

Patient N’s estate was substantial, and he had no heirs to dispute the procedure. His living will made it plain that he did not wish to be euthanized, and so the review board agreed upon the fee and authorized the procedure.

Brain rejuvenation was not a new idea, but it was still controversial. Typically, most of the cerebral cortex was beyond repair, as was the case for Patient N. This would be excised. Stem cells and a cocktail of neural growth factors would be introduced in order to promote the growth a new neural tissue in this area. This part of the procedure was less controversial than the transplant phase. A clone body would be created using the patient’s genetic material. The body graft would be grown in utero, and it would have only a brain stem. The entire central nervous system of the patient would then be transplanted into the graft. The main controversy was concerning the necessity of discarding the existing brain stem.

After some eight months of gestation, the body graft was ready to receive the remnants of Patient N’s brain. The graft was delivered from the surrogate mother’s womb by caesarian, and N’s central nervous system, now smaller due to the removal of dead weight, was moved from his own body into the graft.

N started to awaken as the anesthesia wore off. He blinked and saw the world, as if for the first time. The mother who had nurtured his body for the last eight months gazed into his eyes. She smiled at the small boy, and then she said, “Welcome to the world, little one!”

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