Scott Baraban, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, told National Geographic that after the operation in 2020, Cronutt no longer had seizures, regained his appetite, and returned to his normal weight.
In 2017, Cronutt was found residing in San Luis Obispo County, California, after brain damage caused by toxic algae that caused her to have seizures.
‘A promising approach‘
Experts are now considering trying this method on humans. Karen Wilcox, professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Utah, commented on the research with the words “This is a very promising approach” and said that “for those who are not getting results from drug therapy, this type of treatment could be a miracle.”
Cronutt is believed to have contracted the disease from domoic acid poisoning caused by shellfish he had previously consumed with poisonous algae.
A team of 18 veterinarians, researchers, and neurosurgeons, who led Cronutt’s operation, first detected the seizures in the hippocampus region of the brain in their examination on October 6, 2020, and found that this region was ‘scarred and shrunken‘.
The team, which had previously tested the treatment on mice and was successful, had never studied an animal this size until they found Cronutt.
In the operation, he made four injections of approximately 50,000 cells each into the left hippocampus of Cronutt’s brain. The week he had surgery, Cronutt had 11 seizures, but later his caregivers at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo said they had never seen any seizures.
While the actions won’t completely eradicate Cronutt’s brain damage, they can likely stop further damage and prevent seizures.
Epilepsy, a chronic disease known to occur in more than 50 million people worldwide, causes sudden contractions in the body and some organs to not work properly due to sudden and uncontrolled discharges in neurons in the brain.
Typically diagnosed in older adults, epilepsy and genetic abnormalities are associated with previous brain infections, prenatal injuries, or developmental disorders.
On the other hand, last week, a pig heart was successfully transplanted to a dying 57-year-old heart patient at a hospital in Maryland, USA.