Cryopreserving the Brain

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Ben Best, Cryonics Institute

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  • Cryopreserving the Brain

    1. 1. Cryopreserving the Brain Ben Best President/CEO Cryonics Institute
    2. 2. CRYOPRESERVING THE BRAIN <ul><li>Do we need to know how the brain works? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Anatomical Basis of Mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Science section of BENBEST.COM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Neural Networks, Artificial Intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Computer section of BENBEST.COM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserving synapses preserves memory and identity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Materialism: Mind = Brain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserving the brain preserves the mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Viable tissue, good EMs (good structure) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity & memory in electrical activity? </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. DAMAGE versus DESTRUCTION <ul><li>Criterion for Distinction: Is Repair Possible ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vase breaks into 4 pieces (damage) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vase is dissolved in acid (destruction) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vase is crushed and pulverized (??) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How small are the pieces? Molecular/atomic size ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is the limit to what Nanotechology can fix ? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Repair capabilities of future technology ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distinguish Damage from Destruction in an ultimate sense ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservative: Minimize damage </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. CRYOPRESERVING THE BRAIN DAMAGE versus DESTRUCTION <ul><li>Disease (Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50% chance by age 90 – cryopreserve a demented brain ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t give up, may remove plaques & tangles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aging (damaged macromolecules, cells, tissue) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Destruction -- neurodegeneration (stroke recovery) ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological loss of the desire for life ? Why Life Extension ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Freezing/Cracking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent freezing damage/destruction, thermal stress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vitrification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intermediate temperature storage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ischemia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tissue degeneration when no oxygen or nutrient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standby – cool-down and cardiopulmonary support </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. VITRIFICATION versus NANOTECHNOLGY “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” -- Arthur C. Clarke <ul><li>Faith in Nanotechnology </li></ul><ul><li>“ Vitrification is nothing more than good PR.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-- A Nanotechnology expert </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wasting tens of thousands of dollars on Vitrification? </li></ul><ul><li>Wasting millions on Cryonics Research ? </li></ul><ul><li>Nanotechnology Religion complacency inhibit research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(future technology will fix all damage) </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. NANOTECH RESCUE EQUIPMENT
    7. 7. WHOLE BODY versus NEURO <ul><li>Make a new body </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So much damage to fix, new body will be trivial </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What we think (reasonable) </li></ul><ul><li>What non-cryonicists think (unreasonable) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Others don’t think about things the way we do </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. BRAIN FREEZE -321 Jack Polidoro
    9. 9. WHOLE BODY versus NEURO <ul><li>Memorabilia </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diaries, photos, stamp collection, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compensate for destruction </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. CIRCLE OF WILLIS
    11. 11. BRAIN PERFUSION STRATEGIES <ul><li>Perfuse whole body (femoral) </li></ul><ul><li>Median Sternotomy (cut open the chest) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perfuse into aorta, clamp arms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cut off the head, find & cannulate </li></ul><ul><li>Cut through the clavicle and perfuse through lower vessels </li></ul>
    12. 12. CIRCLE OF WILLIS
    13. 13. CRACKING <ul><li>Vitrified tissue solidifies at about -125ºC </li></ul><ul><li>Cracks from thermal stress by -196ºC (LN temp) </li></ul><ul><li>Like a broken vase? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not pulverized, not as bad as freezing damage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technically like whole body versus Neuro? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Match the ends of severed axons and dendrites? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Storage at -130ºC is costly and difficult </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intermediate Temperature Storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it worth it? If the alternative is nothing ? </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. CRYOPRESERVING THE BRAIN DAMAGE versus DESTRUCTION <ul><li>Disease (Alzheimer’s Disease/Neurodegeneration) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t give up, may remove plaques & tangles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aging (damaged macromolecules, cells, tissue) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rejuvenation Medicine (lost synapses) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Freezing/Cracking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent ice formation, thermal stress </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ischemia/Autolysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Degeneration occurs without oxygen or nutrient </li></ul></ul>Freezing damage different from pulverization, pieces don’t migrate far and trajectories could be deduced Blood stops, tissue degenerates, then dissolves with acid hydrolysis
    15. 15. ISCHEMIC DAMAGE <ul><li>What happens to biological tissues when there is no blood flow, no oxygen or nutrient) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autolysis (brain liquefies) after several days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4-6 Minutes of cardiac arrest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6 hours? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>24 hours? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(cardiac arrest => warm ischemia ) </li></ul><ul><li>(warm ischemia = no oxygen or nutrient at room temperature due to lack of blood flow) </li></ul>
    16. 16. ISCHEMIC DAMAGE <ul><li>STROKE; Garcia, JH; 26:636 (1995) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rats (warm ischemia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No neuron necrosis after 2 hours warm ischemia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only after 6 hours more than 15% neurons necrotic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>??? 4-6 minutes of warm ischemia ??? </li></ul><ul><li>Apoptosis (Cell Suicide) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Irreversible path to self-destruction after 4-6 minutes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Takes many hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooling can slow or stop apoptosis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t decide cryonics is useless because of hours of ischemia </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. ISCHEMIC DAMAGE “No-Reflow” <ul><li>BRAIN RESEARCH; Dawson,DA; 749:200 (1997) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rats (warm ischemia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Middle Cerebral Artery Clamped </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>71% normal flow after one hour occlusion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>22% normal flow after four hours occlusion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Damage to blood vessels (blocked capillaries?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor perfusion of cryoprotectant </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. STANDBY TEAM TO MINIMIZE ISCHEMIC DAMAGE <ul><li>Alcor </li></ul><ul><li>Cryonics Institute/Suspended Animation </li></ul><ul><li>Funeral Director </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Robert Ettinger for his wife Mae </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mutual Aid Cryonics Volunteers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toronto Local Group -- Fall 2002 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Family, Friends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Close family of father in 90s in CI </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. STANDBY PROBLEM <ul><li>Less than 1/3 chance of getting standby when die </li></ul><ul><li>Standbys usually for cancer or AIDs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most people don’t die of cancer or AIDs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many cancer victims die at unpredictable times </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alarm System with GPS monitoring vital signs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Won’t be lying in bed for 3 days before you are found </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How long before the cryonics rescue team arrives? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>24-hour surveillance by cryonics rescue team for life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Costs thousands of dollars per day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May ruin your sex life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Move near a cryonics organization </li></ul>
    20. 20. BRAIN CRYOPRESERVATION <ul><li>Damage or destruction ? How much ? </li></ul><ul><li>How much risk ? How much cost ? </li></ul><ul><li>Minimizing damage, minimizes affordability </li></ul><ul><li>Menu of choices </li></ul>
    21. 21. PRESERVATION = SURVIVAL (words to live by) <ul><li>Stay alive as long as possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology improves – better cryopreservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May avoid cryopreservation by rejuvenation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoid dementia </li></ul><ul><li>Be as wealthy as you can be to buy the best </li></ul><ul><li>Never say “die” </li></ul>

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