Re: cryonics sources: a third alternative

From: S.J. Van Sickle (
Date: Sat Jun 17 2000 - 13:22:09 MDT

On Fri, 16 Jun 2000, Spike Jones wrote:

> One of the undecideds objects to being decapitated (even after
> he's dead!), but will agree if I arrange to do a full body. I countered

Actually, one of the (least important) reasons I chose neuro was that I
didn't like the idea of hanging upsidedown for 50 years. All of us have
our irrational quirks.

> In the meantime, I came up with another idea. Is there a third
> choice whereby the brain is removed and frozen by itself?

There are a handful of such cases. If I am not mistaken, they are
invariably the result of salvaging the remains of state mandated autopsy,
and in very bad shape.

> I can even imagine a brain-only deal might actually *increase* the
> likelihood of eventual revival for it might allow quicker cooling
> of the brain mass, thereby reducing warm-brain injury. Is that

Not really. Aside from the extreme difficulty of finding skilled surgeons
willing to do cryonics, the surgery you suggest is difficult to say the
least. The rubbery brains you see on TV are the results of the brains
being fixed in preservative. A fresh brain has about the consistency of
Jello. Removing a brain that can then be perfused with cryoprotectant is
just about impossible. Brains are removed at autopsies, but they
really don't care if it comes out in pieces. Nor would it reduce warm
ischemia. The fastest way to cool even a removed brain is by perfusing
cold fluid through the vasculature, and that is *much* easier to do in an
intact body that isn't leaking everywhere.

It might be possible after the body has been transported to a facility and
cryoprotected to remove the brain for storage, but that would not save any
space, increase the cost, reduce the quality of the procedure, and likely
result in a pretty cut up brain.

> Is there a company doing brain-only cryopreservation? This
> may well be my father-in-law's only hope. spike

I don't think so.

At the risk of giving people bad ideas, there may be a last minute do it
yourself method. Pay for an autopsy, and if you are lucky you may talk
them into giving you the brain. Pack in dry ice for a straight freeze,
and try to arrange for long term storage. Likely you won't succeed.


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