Symposium on Cryonics and Brain-Threatening Disorders

The Institute for Evidence Based Cryonics and Cryonics Northwest are hosting a symposium on cryonics and brain-threatening disorders on Saturday July 7, 2012, in Portland, Oregon.

Talks include Aubrey de Grey on The SENS approach to repairing the aging brain, Chana de Wolf on neurogenesis in the adult brain and Alzheimer’s disease, Ben Best on drugs, supplements, and other treatments to mitigate and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, Mike Perry on (early) diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, Max More about survival, identity, and the extended mind, and Keegan Macintosh revisits the Thomas Donaldson legal case.


Kaos Softwear
414 NW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97209Entrance to the symposium is free.You can register for the symposium on Facebook.


08:45 am Welcome and Introduction

09:00 am Chana de Wolf – Neurogenesis in the Adult Brain and Alzheimer’s Disease [Slides]

Early neuroanatomists considered the adult brain fixed and incapable of neurogenesis. Chana de Wolf will review the emerging evidence for adult neurogenesis and its implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other identity-destroying disorders.

Chana de Wolf has a master’s degree in Neuroscience and is the President of Advanced Neural Biosciences, Inc.

10:00 am Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D. – Repairing the Aging Brain: The SENS Approach [Slides] [Youtube Video]

Like all other organs, the brain accumulates molecular and cellular alterations throughout life that are eventually deleterious to its function. Unlike all other organs, it cannot be replaced wholesale by a new one created in the lab; the damage must be repaired piecemeal. In this talk I will survey the current status of repairing the three major forms of damage seen in the brain of elderly people: the amyloid plaques that accumulate in the extracellular space in Alzheimer’s disease, the various intracellular proteinaceous aggregates seen in all the major forms of neurodegeneration, and the loss of neurons of various types seen in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and in aging in general. Relevance to revival of cryonics patients and to certain schemes for uploading will also be discussed.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations.

11:00 am Ben Best – Drugs, Supplements, and other Treatments to Mitigate and Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease [Slides]

In the United State over 40% of people over age 84 develop Alzheimer’s Disease. Death by Alzheimer’s Disease for a cryonicist could mean death in the absolute sense, even if cryopreserved under the best of circumstances. Ben Best will discuss drugs, supplements, and other treatments to mitigate and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, discussing the relevance of these preventative/mitigating agents to probable causes of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Ben Best has bachelor’s degrees in Pharmacy, Physics, Computing Science and Business (Accounting and Finance). He is President of the Cryonics Institute and has done extensive self-study of mechanisms of aging in general and Alzheimer’s Disease in particular.

Noon Break / Lunch

02:00 pm Mike Perry, Ph.D. – Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease: Some Recent Progress [Slides]

A new study has doubled the time interval for the first detectable changes in the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease (AD): from five years to ten years before dementia occurs. Mike Perry will report on this advance and other progress that offers the possibility of both earlier detection and more effective treatments for AD.

Mike Perry has a Ph.D. in computer science and is the Care Services Manager at Alcor Life Extension Foundation. His book, Forever for All, offers a moral argument for the pursuit of life extension through cryonics, with an optimistic conclusion about the scientific prospects for immortality.

03:00 pm Keegan Macintosh – Revisiting Donaldson v Van de Kamp: A Comparative Constitutional Analysis [Slides]

Suffering from a malignant brain tumour, Thomas Donaldson petitioned the California Superior Court in 1990 for a declaration that he had a constitutionally-protected right to “premortem cryopreservation”. His petition was denied, and his subsequent appeal dismissed. In this talk, Keegan Macintosh will critically analyze how the case was argued and decided at the appeal level, discuss whether the same or similar arguments would be successful in the US or Canada today, and present novel arguments which would be available under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms that were and are not available under the US Constitution.

Keegan Macintosh received his J.D. from the University of British Columbia in May, 2012, and sits on the board of directors of the Cryonics Society of Canada, as well as the Institute for Evidence Based Cryonics. He is the Executive Director of the Lifespan Society of British Columbia, and has been involved in educational outreach efforts in Vancouver on the topics of life extension and cryonics since 2010.

04:00 pm Max More, Ph.D. – Survival, Identity, and the Extended Mind

Can personal identity be reduced to the brain? If it cannot, does this offer challenges or advantages for cryonics? And what is the relevance of the concept of the extended mind for brain-threatening disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease? Alcor President Max More reviews recent theories about the mind and identity and their implications for personal survival.

Max More is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. More has a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from St. Anne’s College, Oxford University (1984-87). He was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship in Philosophy in 1987 by the University of Southern California. He studied and taught philosophy at USC with an emphasis on philosophy of mind, ethics, and personal identity, completing his Ph.D. in 1995, with a dissertation that examined issues including the nature of death, and what it is about each individual that continues despite great change over time.

05:00 pm Panel Discussion About Cryonics and Dementia

06:00 pm Mike Perry, Ph.D. – Society for Venturism Update [Slides]

06:30 pm Closing words / announcements