A strong argument in favor of neuropreservation is that all efforts can be devoted to vitrification of the brain. Perfusion times are shorter and challenges present during perfusion of the rest of the body (such as abdominal swelling and the higher viscosity of whole body perfusates) are eliminated. The technique of isolated head perfusion may offer additional advantages such as increased cooling rates, superior venous drainage and reduced facial edema.
Some of these advantages are not incompatible with whole body cryopreservation if preferential treatment of the brain is offered to whole body patients. A number of recent Cryonics Institute cases, such as CI-77, indicate that such an approach may be feasible if experimental and practical challenges involving the composition of the cryoprotectant agent, cannulation and perfusion techniques, gastrointestinal ischemia, and selective brain cooling are overcome.
Future installments of this blog will review these separate issues in more detail.