"Brain Transplant Technologies" - 5th Annual Anti-Aging

Natasha V. More (natasha@extropic-art.com)
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 15:45:01 -0600

The Fifth International Conference on Anti-Aging Medicine and BioMedical
Technology (A4M - American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine) held this past
weekend in Las Vegas.

I'd like to recap the "Brain Transplant Technologies" talk given by Robert
J. White, M.D., Ph.D. (Professor of Neurosurgery, Case Western Reserve

"While undoubtedly highly controversial, recent anatomical dissections and
review of the experience of transplanting the animal brain at a subhuman
primate level strongly suggests that the surgical procedure and support
system could be successfully adapted at a human level for brain
transplantation. Experiments conducted from the 1960's through the 1990's
demonstrated conclusively that the monkey brain contained within the head
could be viably transferred to the body of a similar animal from which the
head had been removed. The techniques developed within the framework of the
animal operative methodology would be fully adaptable for similar human
surgeries requiring stages vascular association: arterial and venous....

"Two operative problems, which were solved in the experimental animal, would
also have to be addressed in [hu]man....

"The proposed operative gantries, and the physiological maintenance for the
first human brain transplantation will be presented."

Dr. White was an approachable speaker whose articulation and claim made his
ideas seem not only tolerable by conventional thinkers, but also a rational
approach to prolonging life and also possible applications for neurosuspensions.

Unfortunately the conference was designed so that the speakers were summoned
to give their talks one after another in rapid succession without audience
participation. They did, however, allot a very small area to meet with each
speaker after her or his talk on the side-lines. It was here that the
enthusiasm and passion for brain transplant surgery was explored openly
amongst about fifteen people. Dr. White seemed a bit exhausted at his
profession's negation of brain transplant surgery and present problems of
connecting the spinal column to the brain stem. In both the primate model
and the human model, the spinal cord cannot be reconstituted at this time.
One doctor volunteered that he has the money and the capability to perform a
brain transplant with a subject, and exclaimed that he would do this
for/with Christopher Reeves. Dr. White explained, that because of the
nonreconstitution of the spinal column, the brain transplant surgery would
be a same-same physical situation unless Reeves' (for example) body was
deteriorating rapidly -- essentially dying, the brain transplant could be
then put into another body but it would still be paralyzed due to the spinal

Natasha Vita More [fka Nancie Clark] - natasha@extropic-art.com
Transhumanist Art Centre - Extropic Art Universe
PRESS RELEASE: Extropic Art Manifesto orbits Saturn! 1998

"The best defense is an aesthetic offense."