ISSN 0964-5659

Longevity Report 35

Volume 4 no 35. First published October 1992. ISSN 0964-5659.

How to Failure Proof Cryonics Douglas Skrecky

Breaking the Death Barrier Brian W. Haines

Too Many People Have Died Bob Brakeman

Vitrification Douglas Skrecky

Deprenyl may Help Nerve Damage John de Rivaz

Vitamin E Story Douglas Skrecky

ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Douglas Skrecky

Cryonics - Why Me? Chrissie Loveday

How to Failure Proof Cryonics

by Douglas Skrecky

Here's the scenario. Upon death the "patient" is frozen and then stored at liquid nitrogen temperatures. After a wait, be it several decades or even centuries the funds for maintaining suspension are gradually depleted resulting in the "corpse" thawing and then being cremated. Cryonics sceptics nod their heads knowingly and claim that they knew all along that it would never work.

Here's another scenario. Upon death the "patient" is frozen and then stored at liquid nitrogen temperatures. After a wait, be it several decades or even centuries the funds for maintaining suspension are gradually depleted. However before all the funds are gone the "patient" is freeze-dried and stored at room temperature in a sealed time capsule for several more centuries or even millennia till reanimation technology is developed and then perfected. The patient is then resuscitated and begins a new life in a wondrous world far removed from the sorrows of the present era.

Most people who examine cryonics and then reject it do so not because of either religious convictions or the price tag. Instead the reason is a very pragmatic one. Cryonics is rejected for the simple reason that it is judged unlikely to succeed. If the idea behind cryonics: preservation of the body in hopes of future resurrection, is ever to be taken seriously as a "mainstream" funeral option like cremation the spectre of an uncontrolled thawing will have to be addressed directly and provisions for its avoidance implemented as a keystone of the cryonics movement. Then no matter what happens in the interim the body of the "patient" would be guaranteed to survive in whatever form till the time arrives for resurrection.

Fortunately the cost of implementing such cryonic insurance is zero. All that need be done is to alter the cryonics contract with a clause stating that if in the future thawing is judged to be imminent that steps will then be taken to freeze-dry the body and so avert its destruction.

As an additional step it would likely be helpful to treat the patient with a considerable amount of a "desicco-protectant" such as sucrose in addition to conventional cryoprotectants during the initial cryonic perfusion. Sucrose also has potent cryoprotectant properties itself, as for instance adding it to a DMSO solution improves the survival of oocytes that are frozen and then thawed.1

Since funds for freeze-drying will be limited when and if the time ever comes for it's implementation, a cost effective method for achieving it would be required. Fortunately such a method has already been developed by research scientists. It is called freeze substitution.

Instead of subjecting frozen tissue to a vacuum the tissue is instead exposed to a bath of liquid acetone or sometimes ethanol at sub-zero temperatures. These solvents first rapidly melt the ice in the tissue and then after the bath is drained rapidly evaporate themselves leaving desiccated tissue which is comparable in structural integrity to vacuum freeze-dried tissue.2 Freeze substitution is much faster in action than a vacuum. The reader is invited to attempt an experiment to illustrate this. First store a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the freezer over night. The next day place an ice cube in the rubbing alcohol, which remains in the freezer. The ice cube will melt with a speed which has to be seen to be believed.

On a practical note in an emergency freeze substitution might be implemented using the existing cryonic suspension facilities themselves. First replace the liquid nitrogen with carbon dioxide dry ice so as to allow desiccation to proceed. Circulate acetone inside the storage facilities so that it is in contact with the body of the patient. Filter the acetone through a bed of desiccant to remove any moisture. Recycle the acetone into the storage facility. When all of the moisture is removed drain the acetone bath and circulate dry inert gas through the circulatory system of the body for a short while till all of the acetone is also removed.

1 Ultrarapid Freezing and Thawing of Hamster Oocytes 136-140 Vol.35 No.2 1990 The Journal of Reproductive Medicine

2 Freeze-Substitution 209-221 Vol.127 No.2 1982 Journal of Microscopy

Breaking the Death Barrier

by Brian W. Haines

Very soon it will be the year 2000. If the speed of invention and discovery is equal to the last one hundred years there is little doubt age expansion will take place. The way in which the death barrier will be broken is a matter for conjecture, what is reasonably certain is that technology advances at such a rate the question will be one of principle rather than medicine.

In Britain at this moment we have an aging population. Furthermore we have a population that even in the younger age group has a high expectation of State support. The largest growth areas are the Social services, both medical and welfare, and the entertainment industry. So a very large proportion of the population not only needs to be kept by the State, it also has to be entertained by the State. This poses a very interesting question. The question is that very deep and philosophical problem of what are we here for? And it also leads on to the difficult question of; What are we keeping all these people alive for?

At first glance the idea of living forever seems a very attractive proposition, especially if you do not happen to believe in an after life. It is however a curious fact that as you grow older many of the things you think of as so important when young seem less so as the years go by. It is no accident that old peoples homes are full of people who only pass the time watching television or playing rather simple games. You do not find them a hive of intellectual endeavour which is what you would expect if the years truly gave wisdom and understanding. It is a sad and observable fact that as people age their interests generally decline. Try having a chat about Karl Popper, or asking who agrees with Stephen Hawking when you next visit your aging relatives.*

So are we really ready for immortality? Do you have a full understanding of what it means to live forever? Or are you a couch potato weaned upon a daily diet of cable television waiting for the day 400 channels of virtual reality can be piped straight into your head in the belief it will somehow bring some meaning into an otherwise futile existence?

I would like to suggest there is nothing worse than living for a better tomorrow. Life is a very unique commodity. To waste it upon unhappiness now seems illogical. The time is the present and can never be years in the future. The time to enjoy life is at this moment, leave unhappiness for some time in the future.

This is not preaching. What I want to do is to create a positive attitude to life that does not depend upon any particular populist movement or belief. I also feel there is a need to have some sort of philosophy of living that makes it worth living to a great age. In this I can offer my own experience of travelling down the dark corridors of mental anguish as grey dawns broke day after day.

Like many I was oppressed by religion. The dull heavy burden of guilt which I bore lacerated my formative years. Youth and adolescence were periods of unremitting gloom when joy should have been a daily adventure. Only when I read The Sacred Mushroom by John Allegro was I released from the tyranny of The New Testament and all its purgatory. The weight that was lifted from my mind in the realisation the stories from The Bible were mere fairy tales is indescribable. This was my personal Road to Damascus, it led to freedom.

We know little of the world of animals. Perhaps they have a consciousness of the world around them. We certainly have consciousness, and it seems to exist in the mind. A free and lucid mind is essential for the enjoyment of life. It is this mind that will be so necessary for an active appreciation of an eternity of living in this world. It cannot be a dead or tortured mind racked by worry or merely passively waiting to be amused by the whims of the moment. For this reason I suggest it is necessary to be very clear upon how the years will be filled. Years that are contained only in the perception of consciousness and not in an objective place called the world.

Turning again to my personal experience, I found one of the most useful books to be The Origins of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. Do not be put off by the title. It is very readable, and if like myself you do not agree with the whole thesis, it contains enough interesting material to create new directions in thinking about a reason for existence. My third book was How Real is Real? by Paul Watzlawick. Again a very readable book of reasonable length that asks questions to which there are few if any answers.

It was after studying books like these I was able to appreciate how impoverished my understanding had been of the issues I needed to think about before deciding an eternity of existence would be a good thing. For me the technology of defeating death is only a matter of time and can be left to the medical scientists. The serious issue lies with how we shall use the ability once it is created.

From my point of view I am unable to see how a belief in religion can be compatible with a capability of living forever. In this I hasten to say the technology of extending life by whatever means must include the ability to replace the parts of the body that wear out ad infinitum and so create eternal life. The basis of many religions, and the Christian creed is no exception, appear to accept that life on this earth is simply a preparation for another life in eternity. It has to be questionable as to why anyone who has such beliefs should wish to delay passing over to the elysian fields. Of course a proper answer could be the present life should be extended as much as possible in order to ensure an adequate preparation for the after life. But I have grave doubts as to whether these people would make use of their extra years in prayer and contemplation, in fact I have not noticed any great attention paid to prayer and devotion by the advocates of religious life in the restricted time available to them at the moment.

This all boils down to a plea for greater understanding of motives. I do not say there is a moral issue to be determined, far from it. People may do as they wish, if for their own unstated reasons they want to follow a course of action without heed for the consequences it is their own responsibility. What I want to do is to call attention to the results of my own experience and show that there is a far greater issue to be resolved than the purely technical one when extension of life is proposed.

For many years I blindly followed the idea materialism, technology and social conditions were the only matters that needed to be considered. The various books I found dealing with the abstract nature of consciousness were indeed a revelation. Even more exciting are the experiments into time, thinking and the nature of the universe. Gradually I have gained an access to the other dimensions where time is but one of the known four. There is in a past issue of this journal an article of mine upon a theory of parallel time. I am glad to see these ideas, or very similar ones are gaining ground. I feel I am standing on the edge of great discoveries in this field which will run alongside the technical processes of crossing the barrier of death.

Perhaps the answer is a new science, the science of life experience.

Editorial Comment *

This generalisation may be true for most people, but it is certainly not all. Robert Ettinger of the Cryonics Institute is an example. Alec Reeves, whose name heads the company that publishes Longevity Report, died aged 70 still in work and actively perusing new ideas in many fields. It is for those people who are not bound by this generalisation that immortalism is for. It is also for younger people who don't want their minds to be narrowed by old age, and who want to keep them exercised and active. I suggest that the mental condition that Mr Haines mentions is merely a symptom of aging. It is tantamount to saying that people who have leg injuries shouldn't be cured because they aren't all running marathons every day (and twice on alternate Tuesdays). Old age injures the mind and makes people uninterested in new ideas. Cure old age, and you get an young active mind again.

Too Many People Have Died

by Bob Brakeman

" How many roads must a man walk down, before they call him a man;

How many seas must a white dove sail, before she sleeps in the sand;

How many times must the cannonballs fly, before they're forever banned;

The answer, my friend,

Is blowin' in the wind;

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

" How many years can a mountain exist, before it is washed to the sea;

How many years can some people exist, before they're allowed to be free;

How many times can a man turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn't see;

The answer, my friend,

Is blowin' in the wind;

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

" How many times must a man look up, before he can see the sky;

How many ears must one man have; before he can hear people cry;

How many deaths must it take 'til he knows, that too many people have died;

The answer, my friend,

Is blowin' in the wind;

The answer is blowin' in the wind.1

The pop/folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary made both themselves and Blowin' in the Wind famous when they recorded it for Warner Bros. Records in the summer of 1963. At the time that Bob Dylan wrote the2 song there was no immortalist movement to put it to good use.

Now there is.

Several of Blowin' in the Wind's lyrics have an anti-death/anti-war thrust, which suggests that:

(A) Those lyrics have value for their own sake, and should be showcased whenever possible: "How many deaths will it take 'til he knows that too many people have died" would look good on the masthead of an immortalist magazine: and because the anti-death (immortalist) movement and the anti-war movement have a lot in common, Dylan's two anti-war lyrics ("How many seas must a white dove sail, before she sleeps in the sand" and "How many times must the cannonballs fly before they're forever banned") would look good on posters & bumper stickers -on the walls and cars of immortalists who realize that anti-war movements are fundamentally anti-death movements: What's insane/evil about war is not that people are wearing funny uniforms, it's that war is such a fine provider of death-in-the-large-economy-size.

(B) In addition to those lyrics' value for their own sake they should also be seen as having utilitarian value: Because many anti-war types are that precisely because they do realize that death is the one and only issue, cryonicists should pay some attention to people in organized anti-war movements - "attention" in the form of seeing them as likely to be better than average prospects for life-extension recruitment. Lyrics like "too many people have died" can be explained to them as having an even broader meaning than the anti-war meaning they've always known about: (An aside: Another, subsidiary, reason for thinking of anti-war people as being good potential immortalist recruits is that, in the main, most of them are on the left rather than the right; sometimes leftism is good and sometimes bad, but a crucial area where it has traditionally pointed people in the right direction is that the left has usually been opposed to religious fantasising; thus anti-war liberals tend not to be turned off cryonics by delusions that they're gonna-go-sit-at-the-feet-of-baby-Jesus after they die,a mental affliction cursing many conservatives).

(C) In saying in "A" above that the pro-life lyrics of Blowin' in the wind "would look good" on immortalist posters and bumper stickers, we were not speaking hypothetically. In at least one time and place, they have looked good; and more importantly, they've been productive: At the time of the little social-science experiment described in another article in this series (Who Needs Tahiti)3, a sub-experiment was also carried out. On several of the islands of Micronesia4, some makeshift posters were put up on utility poles and the sides of buildings, and some bumper-stickers were distributed for use on motor scooters and boats (there are relatively few cars on the small islands of Micronesia). In each case, what we used were some of the anti-war/anti-death lyrics of Blowin' in the Wind: Because there are more people in the world who currently label themselves "anti-war" than there are people who currently label themselves "anti-death", our hope was to attract the attention of anti-war types with the printed material, make contact with them, and then start talking-up immortalist subjects. Although the project was on much too small a scale to make statistical categories and breakdowns meaningful, this much can be said: In about three and a half dozen cases, individuals were introduced to life extension subjects for the first time, and of those about 11 people have now done something or other in an immortalist direction.

A wonderfully vague phrase like "something or other" of course demands a little explanation. In some cases the people we'd introduced to immortalism donated some money to support one of our Los Angeles-based mass mailings of cryonics material6. In other cases, they got on the mailing lists for one or more cryonics publications. In other instances they bought life extension books from our inventory of them - in several cases multiple copies of them, so that they could give them to friends. In several cases (these may turn out to be the most important ones), they have become involved in a projected Fourth Group: The new organization which some of us think is eventually going to be needed to avoid the flaws in the existing cryonics groups (more on that in a later analysis). Finally, three of the anti-war activists contacted initially in this way seem on the road to becoming the latest members of a category now numbering about 14 people - the number of individuals the present author has brought into the immortalist movement who are now fully paid suspension members of one of the existing groups (although we have serious doubts about the long term viability of the existing groups, right this minute they are the only game in town, aside from private suspensions, and since we do not want to leave people unprotected we somewhat reluctantly have them sign up with one of the existing groups)7.

If the anti-death lyrics of Blowin' in the Wind had only value for their own sake , or only value as a potential recruiting tool , or only value as a proven recruiting tool, we should be grateful for them; since they in fact have all three kinds of value, if Bob Dylan ever goes bankrupt we should all pass the hat to give him a new start or at least we should agree to freeze-that-boy-free.


l Copyright 1962 by Bob Dylan; words and music by Dylan; published by M. Witmark and Sons Music Publishing.

2 Dylan himself recorded Blowin' in the Wind before Peter, Paul and Mary did it, but his nasal whine/twang wasn't yet in fashion, and his version of the song went nowhere on the charts (although it was very influential among folk artists)

3 Published in Longevity Report.

4 Because you were probably out trying to overthrow some government (an excellent and patriotic idea, of course) when you were supposed to be studying your geography: Micronesia is one of the three groupings into which the island-continent of Oceania is divided; the other two are Melanesia and Polynesia. Polynesia (Greek for the "many islands" - it stretches across most of the Pacific) is the grouping the tourists have discovered - a good reason to seek out either Melanesia or Micronesia; but Melanesia (Greek for the "dark islands" after the colouring of their people) is close to Asia and for that reason is "crowded" by Pacific island standards - which leaves Micronesia: Micronesia means the "little islands" - and that name suggests their main appeal; because most of the islands of Micronesia are so small that you can climb to the highest elevation and easily see the entire island and its lagoon they have the feel of islands. This is a feeling which is lost in the larger islands of Melanesia (New Guinea etc) and Polynesia (the big island of Hawaii, etc.)

5 Micronesia imitates Oceania by dividing itself into three subgroupings - the Marshalls, the Marianas, and the Carolines: The events described herein took place principally in the Carolines (which, naturally, divides itself into three subdivisions---Truk and Yap and Palau*; maybe the number of that beasty-boy in the Book of Revelations should have been 3-3-3 instead of 6-6-6)

6 The mass mailings would involve a cryonics organization like CI providing brochures, and then our corporation, BOB BRAKEMAN INC., would mail them at our expense to clients whose investments we manage.

7 Sometimes the cryonics group is made aware that we are "behind" the person signing up for suspension; other times we stay in the deep background; it depends upon the overall dynamics of the situation and the preference of the individual whom we've convinced to "sign up".

8 Although the specific music and lyrics of Blowin' in the Wind were original with Bob Dylan, he based the concept for the song loosely upon the old southern/Negro spiritual No More Auction Block - a reference of course to slavery; and the abolitionist movement and the immortalist movement have something in common: For four hundred years it was part of the conventional wisdom that slavery was "part of the natural order of things" and would never be ended - but it was; and for much longer than 400 years "natural" death has been considered inevitable - but immortalists eventually will join abolitionists in having the last laugh: That connection is an appropriate one, for life-extension people are "abolitionists"; and because of what it is we want to abolish, we are the "downtown" of worldwide abolition movements - all other A-movements are so far out in the suburbs that the busses don't run that far and you begin to see more cows than people.

* In the past half decade, some of the islands of Micronesia have had name changes, as native governments take over from the white folks colonialists; when the native Micronesians finally get the chance, they often return to earlier native names for their little island-nations: In this analysis I have used the colonialist names that have been in effect for the past several hundred years; an odd thing for a semi-crazed anti-colonialist like me to do, and my only (semi-feeble) excuse is that their resonance sounds like home to me, or at least home-away-from-home: Those of us who've spent some time watching the orange-beyond-orange Pacific sun paint the beautiful lagoon at Truk that same colour at sunset -those kinds of people don't want to let the gentle sound of "Truk" or "Palau" or "Caroline" or "Mariana" fade from their memories.

Bob Brakeman, the author of more than 2000 articles on Immortalism and Public Affairs, resides in Malibu, California.


by Douglas Skrecky

Current cryonic procedures result in tissue damage caused by the formation of ice crystals. The only way this can be avoided is through partially desiccating tissue by replacing roughly half of its water with cryoprotectant and then rapidly freezing. This process is called vitrification as the freezing water/cryoprotectant mixture solidifies in a glassy state that is hopefully devoid of damaging ice crystals. Current cryonic procedures cannot achieve vitrification because tissue deterioration limits the time available for perfusion of cryoprotectant. This deterioration could be virtually halted by the incorporation of calcium chelators and membrane stabilizers in the perfusate with the result that enough time would then be available for partial desiccation to be achieved. Then when the tissue is frozen it would be vitrified and ice crystal damage could be avoided.

Ischemic tissue deteriorates via two processes. First cellular membranes depolarize and allow passage of a massive and lethal influx of calcium from the extracelluar fluid. This prompts the destruction of cellular proteins by calcium activated neutral proteases and the digestion of DNA by calcium activated DNA endonucleases. This process is slowed, but not halted by reducing temperature close to the freezing point, hence the rational for cooling the body of the deceased as soon as possible. It is also slowed by the use of extracelluar calcium chelators such as EDTA or citrate, but again cannot be stopped as intracellular calcium is also slowly released. Even after treating formaldehyde fixed tissue with calcium chelators DNA is still extensively degraded within a week of storage at room temperature.1

The second deteriorative process is destruction of proteins from non-calcium activated proteases which are released when the membrane of cellular organelles called lysosomes rupture. This membrane rupture is highly temperature dependant and greatly INCREASES as temperature is lowered. Thus at room temperature virtually all deterioration is due to calcium, while at close to freezing temperatures lysosomal proteases dominate. Such protease release can be eliminated through the use f membrane stabilizing drugs. For instance after storage at 0 degrees C for 2 days NO postmortem changes were noted in kidneys flushed with the membrane stabilizer chlorpromazine.2 As this time is more than enough to prepare for vitrification there is no longer for any reason to settle for anything less than the best.

1 Fundamental Study on the Mechanism of DNA Degradation in Tissues Fixed in Formaldehyde 748-751 Vol.43 1990 Journal of Clinical Pathology

2 Postmortem Changes in the Rat Kidney II. Histopathological, Electron Microscopical and Enzyme Histochemical Studies of Postmortem Changes at 0 Degrees C 153-166 Vol.24 No.2 1991 Acta Histochem. Cytochem.

Deprenyl May Help Nerve Damage

In their second quarter report, dated 30 June 1992, Deprenyl Animal health Inc (DAHI) announced a "particularly constructive" period. Progress was made in the scientific and clinical use of Anipryl for dogs, a strategic relationship was established with a manufacturer of animal pharmaceuticals, and progress was also made in the long process of patenting the new uses of Anipryl.

DAHI has provided initial evidence that Anipryl is therapeutically effective in treating canine Cushing's disease. The performance with age survey of guide dogs has been completed and results are being analysed. A pilot study for the improvement of efficiency of assistance dogs will now be developed. Also, the first pilot trial at the University of Toronto to evaluate the therapeutic benefits of Anipryl in ageing dogs is nearing completion. Statistical review and publication of results is expected this year.

Another long term study of Anipryl in ageing dogs in Albuquerque, lasting five years, is continuing.

Dr Knoll's original study showing increase maximum lifespan in laboratory rodents has been repeated in Japan.

Patent applications have been made resulting from discoveries by Drs William Tatton and Carol Greenwood at Toronto University that deprenyl therapy results in what they term "rescue" of injured or dying neurons. Thus deprenyl may be therapeutically beneficial in nerve damage situations such as trauma or slipped discs.

The Vitamin E Story

By Douglas Skrecky

A certain type of vitamin E supplement may be able to slow aging. In order to understand why we shall have to digress for awhile...

The latest formulation of the free radical theory of aging states that it is accumulating mitochondrial damage inflicted by the highly reactive hydroxyl radical which is responsible for the ageing process. The life prolonging effects of caloric restriction are no mystery according to this theory since restriction is known to reduce the generation of free radicals in mitochondria.1

The hydroxyl radical is created primarily through the Fenton reaction, which requires reduced iron and hydrogen peroxide to proceed. The superoxide radical reduces iron so in theory superoxide scavengers should be able to block the Fenton reaction. In practice however they are ineffective in this regard for reasons which are not hard to fathom. Vitamin C itself reduces metal ions and so actually increases the generation of hydroxyl radicals in the presence of iron ions.2 It is fortunate indeed that iron rich mitochondria do not contain vitamin C or life extensionists taking vitamin C supplements would likely be SHORTENING their lives.

For years life extension researchers have wondered why most antioxidants not only fail to postpone old age in experimental animals but in some cases even hasten their demise. The reason for this now appears to be quite obvious. High doses of superoxide dismutase for instance interact directly with hydrogen peroxide to produce hydroxyl radicals.3 High dietary intake of zinc increases free radical damage by suppressing superoxide dismutase activity.4 BHT and BHA are metabolized to ter-butylquinone, which in turn increases free radical generation.5 Even the hydroxyl radical scavenger quercetin auto-oxidizes to produce hydroxyl radicals.6 In short most so called "antioxidants" are simply not protective.

There STILL exists a large number of highly protective substances, none of which have ever been tested on a long term basis with experiment animals. These substances all function by eliminating hydroxyl radicals by either scavenging them directly or preventing their generation by blocking the Fenton reaction. Thus hydrogen peroxide scavengers as well as some iron chelators are also protective. In order to be able to prevent damage to target mitochondria in brain cells all candidate substances must be able to easily penetrate membranes such as the blood/brain barrier, cellular membranes as well as mitochondrial membranes. For example the hydrogen peroxide scavenger catalase fails to qualify because it cannot penetrate mitochondria. Catalase also has been found to be ineffective in either reducing free radical damage or in prolonging animal lifespan.7

...........End of digression. Vitamin E succinate is a member of this select group of highly protective substances. It qualifies because apparently it can bind with reactive metal ions such as iron and thereby block the Fenton reaction. Although vitamin E succinate is gradually hydrolysed to vitamin E and succinate in the body by cellular esterases it is the intact vitamin E succinate molecule alone which is protective. Vitamin E itself does not block the Fenton reaction. Succinate is partly protective, but only at doses that are far higher than can be maintained by oral administration. Succinate reduces coenzyme Q10 to ubiquinol 10 which in turn enhances NADPH dependant recycling of vitamin E.8 This recycling may be part of the reason why coenzyme Q10 administration itself increases lifespan in laboratory animals.

Vitamin E succinate will likely be found to greatly prolong lifespan when it is finally tested in animals. For example nematode lifespan is progressively reduced by exposure to increasing concentrations of oxygen. 9 Vitamin E succinate completely blocks the deleterious effects of increased oxygen in laboratory experiments with cell cultures, while vitamin E itself has no effect. 10. Vitamin E succinate also completely protects cells from the effects of cadmium poisoning, while again vitamin E itself has no effect. 11 Vitamin E succinate is also protective against nickel, chromium and iron poisoning, etc, etc.12, 13, 14

In summary it is worth taking a modest vitamin E supplement, though only in its succinate ester form. As with coenzyme Q10 in order to be well absorbed this supplement should be taken only in conjunction with a source of fat. Mix with coenzyme Q10 in olive oil. Take twice a day. Caution is still advised if high doses of vitamin E succinate are being contemplated as there has been no extensive testing of this substance in humans for toxic side effects. It may for instance exacerbate any preexisting tinnitus due to prostaglandin inhibition. Finally the free radical theory of aging itself is only a theory and thus is highly susceptible to experimental refutation. All this might not stop those who are already old and so have little to lose, but for the rest of us bids for rejuvenation should continue to wait pending proofs of both efficacy as well as safety.

1 Protection of DNA Damage by Dietary Restriction 523-525 Vol.12 1992 Free Radical Biology & Medicine

2 Oxidants and Antioxidants: State of the Art 2S-13S Vol.91 Suppl.3C 1991 The American Journal of Medicine

3 Copper,zinc Superoxide Dismutase Catalyses Hydroxyl Radical Production From Hydrogen Peroxide 5006-5010 Vol.87 1990 Proceeding of the National Academy of Science USA

4 Effects of Dietary Zinc on Free Radical Generation, Lipid Peroxidation, and Superoxide Dismutase in Trained Mice 147-153 Vol.291 No.1 1991 Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics

5 Production of Reactive Oxygen Species due to Metabolic Activation of Butylated Hydroxyanisole 179-194 Vol.59 1989 Toxicology

6 Effects of Antioxidants on Quercetin-Induced Nuclear DNA Damage and Lipid Peroxidation 259-264 Vol.60 1991 Cancer Letters

7 Relationship Between Catalase Activity, Lifespan and Some Parameters Associated With Antioxidant Defenses in Drosophila Melanogaster 287-296 Vol.63 1992 Mechanisms of Ageing and Development

8 Antioxidant Effects of Ubiquinone in Microsome and Mitochondria are Mediated by Tocopherol Recycling 851-857 Vol.169 No.3 1990 Biochemical and biophysical Research Communications

9 Lifespan Shortening of the Nematode Caenorhabditis Elegans Under Higher Concentrations of Oxygen 235-246 Vol.63 1992 Mechanisms of Ageing and Development

10 Oxygen Toxicity: Unique Cytoprotective Properties of Vitamin E Succinate in Hepatocytes 333-343 Vol.9 1990 Free Radical Biology & Medicine

11 Cadmium Toxicity: Unique Cytoprotective Properties of Alpha Tocopherol Succinate in Hepatocytes 63-77 Vol.69 1991 Toxicology

12 Differences in the Effect of Vitamin E on Nickel Sulphide or Nickel Chloride-induced Chromosomal Aberrations in Mammalian Cells 159-164 Vol.260 1991 Mutation Research

13 Role of Physiological Antioxidants in Chromium(VI)-induced Cellular Injury 397-407 Vol.12 1992 Free Radical Biology & Medicine

14 Stimulation of Lipid Peroxidation Increases the Intracellular Calcium Content of Isolated of Isolated Hepatocytes 310-316 Vol.1091 1991 Biochimca et Biophysica Acta

Periastron Looks at Alcor's Research Expenditure

The lead article of the July 1992 issue of Periastron is part three of a series on Cryonics and Scientific Research. Its main topic was the fact that Alcor has spent little on scientific research over the past. Dr Donaldson says that US Tax Law requires it to be a supporter of scientific research, but its real aim is the suspension and revival of its patients. This may or may not involve research. He feels that the Alcor members who feel strongly about Alcor's lack of research then they should set up their own research facility and pursue their research separately. He recalls the truism that it is much easier to do something oneself than get someone else to do it. Politicking within Alcor is wasting its time and probably its money.

The issues other articles concern, as usual, looks at things like brain repair, memory, neurotransmitters, and cortisone and ischemia. As usual all appear to be by Dr Donaldson himself - he seems unable to attract other authors. SO if you have something to say about science and cryonics, then here is your platform.

Periastron PO Box 2365, Sunnyvale, California 94087. Subscriptions cost $2.50 per issue. If you pay for many issues in advance, you avoid any possible price rises. If the newsletter does not continue for any reason, unused subscriptions will be refunded with interest!

ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by Douglas Skrecky

Chronic fatigue usually has a sudden onset after a bout of low grade fever which is accompanied by slightly enlarged lymph nodes. Although the majority of chronic fatigue patients suffer from mild depression, this is believed to be primarily a side effect of rather than a cause of the fatigue. Most severely depressed patients do suffer from fatigue as well, but only to a much more limited extent. A variety of viruses have been implicated in the onset of chronic fatigue, but cannot account its persistence as antiviral agents such as acyclovir and gammaglobulin have been found to be ineffective as treatments.1 However some success has recently been obtained with ampligen, albeit with side effects.2 The physical basis for the chronic fatigue syndrome has recently been discovered to involve abnormal and weakened immune system responses.3

Strengthening of the immune system rather treatment with toxic antiviral drugs would appear at present to be the more appropriate therapy. Magnesium deficiency for instance can weaken the immune system and there is some evidence of such a deficiency in chronic fatigue patients. In a preliminary study supplemental magnesium helped most patients to improve both physically as well as emotionally.4


If you suffer from chronic fatigue you might want to consider taking a daily magnesium supplement.

1 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 1205-1213 Vol.45 No.3 1992 American Family Physician

2 Treatment Proposed for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Research Continues to Compile Data on Disorder 2667-2668 Vol.266 No.19 1991 Journal of the American Medical Association

3 Cell-Mediated Immunity in Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Healthy Control Subjects and Patients With Major Depression 76-79 Vol.87 1992 Clinical Experimental Immunology

4 Red Blood Cell Magnesium and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 757-760 Vol.337 1991 The Lancet

Editorial notes:

British Association for Advancement of Science Debate ME

The Financial Times of 29 August carried a report that the British Association for the Advancement of Science held a meeting on ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, or post viral fatigue.

The meeting heard that the condition has real physiological causes, and is not just a psychological illness. However the causes remain uncertain.

Dt Stuart Butler, of the Burden Neurological Institute, Bristol, said that brain scans of sufferers showed a prominent feature called post-imperative variation (PINV). This effect is observed in a number of different disorders, so we do not have a specific test that reveals ME. However there is a disturbance in the cerebral cortex that has something in common with neurological and mental illnesses which have an organic cause.

Ms Clare Francis is a leading campaigner for the medical profession to recognise that ME is a genuine disease and not an excuse for people to scrounge. She says that there are 120,000 to 15,000 sufferers in the UK at any one time.

Availability of Magnesium Products

Magnesium oxide powder is available from Life Plus Ltd., Freepost PO Box 24, Dunstable, Beds.

It is best taken with vitamin C powder, and possibly with calcium carbonate powder as well. Mix 3 tablespoonfuls of magnesium oxide, two tablespoonfuls of calcium carbonate with 250 grams of vitamin C powder.

This is pure speculation, but it may be that deprenyl may be of benefit to ME sufferers. Readers are asked to look out for any scientifically refereed publication which suggests this and to let Longevity Report know. In the meantime please do not let this paragraph start a rumour that deprenyl helps ME.

Cryonics, Why Me?

by Chrissie Loveday

Does everyone ask this question? I said some months ago that my initial thoughts were those of revulsion.* I read more and thought a lot more and decided that it wasn't all some Sci-Fi exercise for the fans. My thinking was along the lines of "what is there to lose?" Can I afford to reject any opportunity? Strange really, as there was a time, not so long ago, that I didn't really care whether I had any more life or not. I've got over that temporary blip and daily wonder how I shall ever manage to get everything done that I want to do.

My next train of thought leads me to ask the question, am I worth preserving? I trust that my nearest and dearest would say YES ... without hesitation ... but I have to consider whether I think it is all worthwhile, what would I do with my time. I have spent many years in education. I am quite disillusioned with mainstream teaching. Trying to force the unwilling to reach the unattainable was my final definition. All those years of training and experience, down the drain ... wasted. I seem to have heard the same thing said by a number of ex-teachers and Radio and Television programmes echo the thoughts. This is but one instance of changes in professions.

"Finished at forty", is often heard these days. The youngsters in the office can't wait for the "oldsters" to make mistakes and earn their gratitude by leaving. Make room for the modern innovations ... let's get the new ideas working. So, are there not enough semi-redundant people around? Why should we consider cryonic suspension to save a whole new collection of "oldies" to one day, prevent the new modern progress? Could it be that old skills could one day be new skills? Perhaps reading will be phased out in the way that mental arithmetic gave way to calculators. Just imagine the thrill, some time in the future, after re-animation, of being the only person on Earth able read and interpret the collection of printed material held in museums!

I like to think that I am open-minded. I want to hear what the new ideas are. I don't want to follow them all, in the same way that I don't want to wear all the new fashions. But I don't want to stay with the laundering and labours involved in the old ways. I want to incorporate new ideas and retain the old ideas that work ... remain open-minded. Modern curriculum in school encourages students to think for themselves, in a guided way, of course. I'm still old-fashioned enough to believe that you have to know real facts before you can begin to think for yourself ... to think original thought ... but I remain open-minded about that.

There are an awful lot of new lives being born. We have an over-crowded planet and something has to be done to limit this growth. There seems to be an awful lot of wastage taking place at this particular time. There are still many countries where new life is great numbers ensures at least some chance of prolonging the parent's lives. Will the human race always procreate in this way? Brave New World made some alternative suggestions and somehow I can't help feeling that recent "advances" are heading that way. If we live longer, will we want as many children in the future? I must admit, I couldn't have managed without any of my three, but will it be that way for everyone in the future? One of my three does not consider the world a suitable place for any more children to be born and has said he doesn't want to be a father. He may change, admittedly, but this could become more common-place.

We used to think of our "allotted span" ... three score years and ten wasn't it? That needs updating, surely? I know lots of folk over that ... it surely shouldn't be limited. None of the people I know consider they are living on borrowed time. "Old-age is intolerable, until you think of the alternative" - said the always quotable Oscar Wilde, and "Youth is seldom appreciated by the young" gives the same sort of idea. Perhaps cryonic suspension could solve both problems. Whether anyone else thinks I'm worth preserving becomes irrelevant, if I want to accept the concept, it's my own decision.

* A Mother's Initial Thoughts on Cryonics Chrissie Loveday, Longevity Report 32 page 15

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