Volume 4 no 37. First published February 1993. ISSN 0964-5659.
Dental Review Laser Scanning for Dental Surgery Taking it With You - 2
Dental ReviewDr Gabriel Landini, Dr Odont, PhD
Laser Scanning for Dental SurgeryJohn de Rivaz
Taking it With You - 2John de Rivaz
Letters - Trees, Technology Shops, Swiss Banks, Acetone, Exercise, God
Ivory Castles A One-a-Day May Keep the Doctor Away Cold War Deprenyl, Morton Schulman and Me The Profession Answers Back
Ivory CastlesBrian Haines
A One-a-Day May Keep the Doctor AwayDouglas Skrecky
Cold WarYvan Bozzonetti
Deprenyl, Morton Schulman and MeBen Best
The Profession Answers Back:
A Review of
How to Become Dentally Self-Sufficient
by Dr. Gabriel Landini, Dr. Odont., Ph.D.
I am afraid that it is difficult to comment on How to become Dentally Self-Sufficient since it has
so many errors and misleading ideas that it is not, in my opinion, a suitable book for self-administered dental care purposes. The writing is very loose and poorly structured and there are
no scientific literature references.1
The book tries to show that there is "another face of dentistry" (Oramedics International) that one
could chose and avoid "spending hundreds ... thousands of dollars, pain, and disfigurement".
Although dental treatments may be very expensive, however, in the book there are no new facts
or no new approaches to treatment or prevention of dental caries and periodontal disease. There
are no attempts to analyze why dental care is expensive, either.2
The scientific vocabulary is not appropriate. The author insists on using new names (why?)3
(odontosis, gingivosis for dental caries and periodontal disease respectively) when the classical
names are widely accepted.
There are severe mistakes in the anatomical (form) and physiological (function) descriptions such
as "the covering tissue of the oral cavity is one cell thick" (pages 30 and 46). All students are
taught in their first year that oral epithelial tissue is polystratified (several layers thick).4
Even in Dr Nara's video cassette he mentions "one cell thick" tissue three times!
Dr Nara wrongly states that "cementum", the tissue that covers the surface of the roots of teeth is
"somewhat similar to enamel" (page 34).
The description of the attachment of teeth to the bone by "connective tissues" is wrong (page 35).
That attachment is achieved by a specialised system of collagen fibres (the periodontal ligament.)
The description of lack of attachment (adhesion) of the gums to teeth is false. There are several
ways in which this attachment is achieved: the epithelial cells adhere to the enamel of the tooth
crown by "hemidesosomes", fibrillar structures visible by electron microscopy. Additionally there
exist a group of collagen fibres (the Koelliker circular ligament and dento-gingival fibres) which
help to keep the gingiva attached to the teeth.
Most modern periodontal treatments aim to restore the adhesion which is lost in periodontal
The author seems to use the word "symptom" for all sorts of different things (cavities, gum
problems, page 20), when its correct meaning is "what the patient expresses or feels" about a
disease. For example "pain" is a symptom.6
On page 44, it says that bone tissue is "self restorative", which is not true for the case of bone loss
during periodontal disease. That is why untreated periodontal disease worsens with time - the
bone loss in cumulative.
Dr Nara says on page 44 that "gingivosis" (periodontal disease) is the "gravest disease problem in
oral health". It is a widely spread disease. However the greatest problem in oral health is without
any doubt oral cancer. Its incidence varies widely between countries, due to differences in genetic
background and to alimentary and social habits. In the western world it comprises about 5% of all
tumours, but in other geographic areas this percentage is increased several times. Tobacco,
(smoking, inverted smoking and chewing), alcohol, betel nut chewing are now known to relate to
an increased risk of oral cancer.7
I found several misleading statements such as "(tooth) brush(ing) does not prevent disease" (page
40). Dr Nara seems to ignore that the purpose of teeth brushing is to disorganise a bacterial
polymer complex that forms on the surface of the oral cavity called "oral plaque". Bacteria form
acids as a result of their metabolism and these acids attach the surface of the enamel, dissolving it.
This creates micro faults in the enamel which are not possible to brush, and subsequently these
develop into larger cavities. So the main purpose of brushing is to reduce this acid attack.8
In the video, Dr Nara expresses that "the more you go to the dentist, the less teeth you have in
your mouth". I would like to see what kind of statistics he has used to reach to that assertion.
There seems to be a classic example of cause-or-effect misunderstanding.9
Do patients who do not have any dental treatment have more teeth in their mouths than those who
do? I would like to see a proof of that,9 since the World Health organisation statistics do not
agree with Dr Nara.
Oral health in modern society (mostly due to alimentary habits) does not depend on "going
to the dentist", but on individual and constant behaviour regarding personal oral hygiene.
On page 72, there is a paragraph about the effect of drug abuse on oral health. Rather than
explaining that drug abuse is very bad for your health, Dr Nara says instead that it is bad for your
oral health and "if you are legal (user?) ask your doctor about this, if you are illegal ask your
pusher". This is unbelievable.10
In conclusion, what does Dr Nara propose that is novel? I really do not know. He goes attacking
dental care in the USA. I am not aware of how things work there, but there are no alternative
proposals at all. All the methods proposed for oral hygiene (brushing, dental floss, water pick,
fluoride, disclosing tablets, etc.) are methods currently used worldwide. Bacteriological tests like
the lactobacillus count will give you a result of the status of the bacterial flora at the time of
sampling, but this is altered after you have a meal or brush your teeth. Disclosing tablets (that
stain dental plaque) may be of much more use (and far cheaper) since you can test your brushing
efficiency as many times as you want.
I am afraid that I cannot recommend the book, for all the reasons above.
(These were sent in response to other questions I asked Dr Landini:)
This does happen. The tooth enamel is mainly composed of a calcium-phosphate mineral called
hydroxyapatite which has several radicals (parts of its molecular structure) that can be relatively
easily exchanged by others. As saliva has a high concentration of calcium, teeth can remineralise,
although not enough to stop dental caries.
That is the basis of toothpaste's fluoride action: to exchange an OH- radical (an oxygen and
hydrogen atom) with a F- atom (fluorine) atom. If this is achieved, then the crystal (now
fluorapatite) has much more resistance to acid attack, and therefore to caries. While by using
toothpaste with fluoride you increase protection on the surface of the teeth, medically controlled
ingestion of fluoride during childhood helps to build up all the enamel with a higher proportion of
fluorapatite. For this purpose, several ways of distribution of fluoride are possible, such as
fluoridated water, salt, or tablets. However one must first ask one's dentist about the requirements
since more than certain amounts can produce discolourations of the enamel and massive amounts
The use of Fluorbiprofen11 to prevent bone loss on periodontal disease.
Anti-Inflammatory drugs, as well as the immuno-suppressive drugs that are administered to
patients subjected to organ transplantation, reduce the inflammatory response of the periodontally
affected tissues, which in turn is responsible for the destruction of the bone tissue in the jaw.
However this is not a causative treatment since you only avoid one of the terminal links that lead
to bone resorption. The main cause is not the inflammation you are reducing, but mostly bacterial
toxins and waste products present in the dental plaque and dental calculus. So in the end you
reduce your capabilities to fight the infection. This is the reason why fighting plaque and
calculus with a correct oral hygiene are the best ways of preventing caries and periodontal
Comments by John de Rivaz:
1 2 3
1The lack of references devalues it, I agree. I was told that though they were used when the book was written, they were never noted down in the text.
2This was in the companion book Money by the Mouthful. Certainly one of the reasons must be greed by the profession as a whole. It is demonstrated in restricting the numbers of practitioners available to treat the public. A similar problem was noted in Britain's national news about a couple of years ago. For more reasoned comment on how professions as a whole work, see Richard Dawkins' famous book The Selfish Gene, Oxford, 1989.
3I think that I can answer that. When one belief system replaces another, one way it can more quickly overthrow the other idea is by the use of language, and particularly by names. I cite two examples.
One is when the American colonists imported slaves from Africa, they gave them all new, English names and forbid them to use their old names. They taught them English but without words like "freedom" or "escape" in the vocabulary.
The other is more recent. When the Socialists chose to tax people to prevent their savings keeping
up with inflation, thereby concentrating more wealth into government control, they called their tax
"Capital Gains Tax". The intended implication was that people who got something for nothing
were being penalised. The British people were quick to catch on to the fact that they were being
taxed on illusory gains in terms of real value, as a result of the inflation the Socialists had also
introduced, or at any rate encouraged. After a bitter political struggle within both main parties,
lasting nearly two decades, the tax was index linked, with the result that today, out of a
population of some 56 million people, only about 160,000 actually pay the tax. Has the Socialists
been honest and imposed a wealth or capital tax, it could be with us to this day. However they
were concerned that if a Wealth Tax was introduced at the same level of kill as Capital "Gains"
Tax it would alienate too many of their voters in the high pay labour sector, and of course the
Conservatives were more likely to repeal it more quickly when they returned to office. Ironically,
the Conservatives later failed with something very similar to a wealth or capital tax - the Poll Tax!
Further comment by Dr Landini.
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
4At the time of writing this (early November 1992) there is a series of television programmes on how doctors are trained. I should imagine the situation is very similar for dentists. The first year is on the subject of anatomy, and the sheer volume of data is impossible to memorise. Therefore students study form, and memorise data on subjects that are most likely to come up considering past examination papers. Whether a particular student passes is therefore a combination of luck and work. However Dr Nara was writing his book as a free man, not under examination conditions. therefore I would have expected him to both have the text read by a fellow professional for such mistakes, and also to have checked facts. If he had included scientific references, then maybe the assertion about cells could be investigated further. On his video, he says that when teeth are scaled at the dentists, if the hygienist is negligent and abrades the gums (they feel sore afterwards) then the patient is at higher risk from a serious infectious illness that kills the heart. Most people infected die from this disease. Young people are not excepted, and there was recently a case of a young teacher dying from this disease here in Cornwall. Whether she had recently had her gums scaled I don't know. Further comment by Dr Landini.
5I have heard people say that these treatments offer months of post operative pain. I am very dubious of anything that has people leaving the treatment iller than when they commenced it. If such activities were outside the cloak of professionalism, then they would not be tolerated by the public or indeed the law. In medicine, many surgical treatments have been replaced by pharmacology. I am surprised, and suspicious, that this appears not to have happened in dentistry. If the statistic is true that half the population don't submit to dental surgery, then that half is an enormous market for the pharmaceutical industry to address. (As an amusing aside, I often wonder what would happen if that half of the population suddenly decided to go to the dentist. Presumably the profession would collapse as it would be unable to provide the manpower to meet the demand.) Further comment by Dr Landini.
6My note three may apply again to this. Or maybe it is a communication problem. Maybe what Dr Nara is trying to say is that the disease is the bacteria which have been designed to make acids that eat away at teeth, and the result is the caries, periodontitis etc. Further comment by Dr Landini.
7The treatments for some forms of oral cancer were the subject of a television drama some years back. The surgery is horrific, and is yet another reason why people should stop smoking their lungs. As lung smoking (passive and active) and alcohol drinking often go together, the combined effect could well be greater than the sum of the two alone. Further comment by Dr Landini.
8The Immortalist publicised a suggestion that if one brushes teeth before as well as after meals, disease levels can be kept even lower. This is because bacteria are removed and less disease process continues during the meal.
9I wrote to Dr Nara asking for a reference on this assertion, but regretfully he has all his references for this book piled in a box and hadn't the time to sort this one out. Whereas I sympathise about the evil of time, regretfully this doesn't help us here.
10I always assumed that this was intended to be jocular.
11This was proposed in Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw's newsletter, regretfully now no longer being produced. Whether the action of fluorbiprofen is exactly as Dr Landini classes with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs I am not qualified to say, but there could be some other action as otherwise Pearson and Shaw would have mentioned the class of drugs rather than one specific one. The fact that its name suggests it to be a fluorine compound could be relevant.
Additional notes by Dr Landini
3&6 4 5 7.
3&6I think that if one is writing a book for everybody, one has to use correctly the terms, because if not, you are confusing the readers.
4Take care on overemphasising: If you suffer from bacterial endocarditis, AND you have periodontal disease AND you have your teeth scaled, THEN you may be in a risk of reactivating your endocarditis and become seriously ill (and even die). Not every patient who is scaled is at risk because not everybody suffers from bacterial endocarditis or rheumatic fever.
5. "I have heard people ..." does not make a good scientific argument. Periodontal surgery is a very minor surgery compared with many other treatments. You cannot compare medicine in general to dentistry in particular (surgery v drugs). This is like criticising engineers because there are still no solar powered cars. Secondly, you assume that the half of the population who does not go to the dentist would use the drugs ... that still do not exist. Yet more editorial comment
7.Because all the functions the mouth has, and radical surgical treatment will compromise them, but one should not forget what the purpose of all that treatment is. We would then be involved in ethics, the quality of life etc. But this is far from the message you want to give to your readers about prevention. Yet more editorial comment
As the oral cavity is very easy to survey (just opening the mouth) the number of cases in which
you can do early diagnosis even pre-malignant lesions (avoiding large surgical treatments later) is
great compared for example to cervical cancer. Just imagine how much easier it is to survey the
oral cavity than any other internal organ.
If you are interested in oral health, contact the WHO and ask for material on oral health and cancer prevention.
Oral Health Subdivision,
World Health Organisation,
1211 Geneva 7
Editorial comment on comments (this is getting complicated!)
5"I have heard people ..." wasn't intended as a scientific comment. Dr Nara claims in his book that oral surgery for periodontal disease isn't particularly successful from the point of view of the patient: it is expensive, involves a long period of post operative pain, and the condition often recurs. No doubt if I had the time I would look in a library and see if any peer reviewed scientific papers have been written on post operative pain and recurrence amongst patients who have received this surgery. That, of course would be scientific. In the meantime, maybe one of the readers would like to oblige? (Actually I would have my doubts whether such topics such as post operative pain are covered in scientific papers as they are extremely subjective, but I could be wrong.)
7Longevity Report is not supposed to be giving people a "brush your teeth" message, but we do want to foster debate so that people understand why they are being told to do certain things by professionals. I do not think the majority of the readership is of the "doctor knows best" brigade. Indeed Longevity Report readers should be able to assess for themselves the validity of proposals made by professionals. This would not be from the same depth of knowledge of the subject as the professional, but from the reader's knowledge of his own position and using what information he can glean from the professional.
The professions (doctors, dentists, solicitors, barristers, accountants, opticians etc) have the idea that all of their members are equally honest, trustworthy people and equally good at their job. Common sense suggests otherwise, which may be one reason why only a part of the population trusts them. Usually a professional doesn't have the time to discuss things fully with the patient or client. A recent Panorama programme on dentistry said that to meet the financial outgoings of their practice some National Health Service dental practitioners have to allow only 6 minutes per filling, including seeing the patient in and out of the surgery.
by John de Rivaz
The picture on the front page of the printed edition is of Cliff Cottage, Prussia Cove in Cornwall
where I as a child had many happy summer holidays - apart that is from the dental nightmare to be
recounted below. My room was the centre of the three dormer windows in the roof.
When I was a child, I was taken to the dentist three times a year, as was believed to be sound
practice. School holidays had to contain both summer holidays and dental surgery, and one year
there was a period of a few weeks before the summer holiday and a few weeks after it that dental
surgery could take place.
The dental surgeon announced that he would place a temporary filling in a decayed area before
the holiday, and then do a permanent one afterwards. To this day I can't understand the clinical
necessity for this, but during that holiday I had nightmares about the permanent filling. I had
assumed (wrongly as it turned out) that the permanent filling would be some horrendous
procedure that would leave me too ill to take the holiday. In fact it was no different to any other
An article in New Scientist 19/26 December described a prototype system that will make dental
surgery more efficient.
As he cuts into your teeth the surgeon, instead of looking at what he is doing, will view the
progress of the drill on a video monitor hooked to a computer. This will receive data from a laser
scanning system fixed around the tooth being drilled.
The advantage of this system is that the dentist can see inside the teeth as he drills. Previously, he
took an X-ray and based his entire procedure on this one image. Unlike X-rays, laser light is not
ionising, and therefore can be used with safety. The computer can make three dimensional images
that can be rotated and viewed from different angles.
The system will also be of use for restorative works such as crowns, giving a far better result than
The laser system works because the light is scattered more by decayed areas than healthy tissue.
Using a light whose wavelength is sensitive to blood, the system can also detect dead teeth for
extraction. Dead teeth are identifiable by the fact that they have no blood circulation.
Teeth are a hard but porous structure, so the laser light can get through them. However it is said
not to be a complete replacement for X-rays, because they are better at detecting existing fillings.
(I don't understand why - I should have thought that mercury amalgam would not be porous and
therefore block laser light completely.)
International Sensor Corporation, Pittsburgh, is now developing a commercial system. Trials are
due to start in about a year.
Taking it With You
Taking it With You- 2
by John de Rivaz
A cryonicist wanting a personal reanimation account and not being able to afford the Reanimation
Foundation's minimum of $100,000 has an alternative in the services of Mr Adolfo S. Pichardo.
Mr Pichardo is a Licensed Accountant with a practice in Miami, Florida, and has been in this
profession since 1974. He has set up a fiduciary service. This is a service, working with lawyers
and other professions, that creates and manages trusts. He is also a member of The Immortalist
Society and has an interest in maintaining his physical health.
I send him a very direct letter asking certain questions about the costs involved. He replied that
the costs depend a lot on what people need, but he gave as an example, a trust of $50,000 with
the owner managing it whilst alive and Adolfo S. Pichardo Associates Ltd managing it after his
suspension. This trust would cost $1,000 to set up, and $775 per year to manage after the client's
suspension. (1 hr Senior Administrator, 7hrs Junior.) The management costs during the client's life
would be minimal to nil, as he would be doing the work. This assumes that the trust has no other
motives, such as avoiding tax. However one need to check that it doesn't add to taxation penalties
levied by most countries on owning wealth.
Mr Pichardo recommended that any securities be sold and cash transferred to the trust, as
transferring stocks or other assets would complicate matters.
However, taxation of capital gains could add to costs if the sales involved tax penalties. Therefore
anyone following this route may be advised to find out exactly what the difficulties would be in
transferring the actual assets. Trusts in the UK are penalised separately and more harshly for
capital gains, and this risk needs to be checked. However it may be that if the trust does not avoid
death tax, then the additional capital gains penalty is not levied. The costs mentioned assume that
there are no unusual circumstances, such as litigation. However privacy of trusts in the USA
reduce the chances of hostile people discovering them. This may well be facilitated by transferring
cash rather than other assets into the trust.
Taxation can be minimised by proper planning and preparation. UK and European readers should
note that Mr Pichardo has access to information on double taxation treaties.
Although most states in the USA have enacted legislation depriving their citizens of the freedom
to write perpetual trusts, Mr Pichardo says that by use of "the corporate form" he may have found
a way to circumvent this. Again, the privacy of trusts is beneficial in this respect. Also, I would
comment that cryonicists expect to be revived, so the trusts won't be left to run forever!
For clients with large funds available, I would recommend placing some with many different
institutions. They may not all survive, but you won't run the risk of choosing one that fails and
losing all your money.
These reanimation support organisations are unlikely to fail because of mismanagement or plain
dishonesty on behalf of their managers. But as they grow they will be subject to legal attack,
unless the litigious nature of society declines. One doesn't have to be a mathematical genius to
work out that a trust of $50,000 or even $500,000 is unlikely to be sufficient to survive the costs
of defending a legal attack, given that legal fees rise faster than deposit interest or even growth of
stocks and shares. But if an aggressor has to find many trusts in different countries all hiding
under secrecy laws, then you are likely to have some left when you reanimate.
For further information, please contact
Mr Adolfo S. Pichardo
3850, Galloway Road,
From Mr Yvan Bozzonetti
From Mr Yvan Bozzonetti
I also have too many activities in too many domains and not enough time to hand. I am writing a
book about large amateur astronomy instruments. I am trying to translate a bit of it into English to
give a hint of it to some American publishers.
In the longevity domain, I am starting to use dried Dacrydium Cupressum (Rimu). It seems
interesting to use this before strenuous exercise. I am thinking about an article on a personal cold
On the practical side, I think that some technological components are not available for individual
use. We need to think about "technology shops" with services such as high speed centrifugation
or DNA sequencers. Maybe computer club activities could be expanded in this direction?
I think we need more activities in the sciences and technology for amateurs or individual
businessmen. Fractals, astronomy instrumentation, biochemistry experiments are merely a few
examples of what could be offered.
From here I turn to the subject of cryonics. For me, cryonics can't be a credible solution today. It
relies too heavily on the work of individuals such as R.C.W. Ettinger. To be a credible solution it
needs to be a mass social phenomena. To convince many people implies a more credible issue,
that may be done only by a well defined research programme. And we can't expect governments
to help individuals in this respect. A couple of my friends who are interested in cryonics have
serious doubts as to its long term viability. There is clearly a credibility problem even for
interested people. How can we solve these questions?
From Mr E. P. Suter
From Mr E. P. Suter
Those damn Swiss Banks , they're making money with everything, preferably with persons or
organisations to whom they will not have to return the funds paid in. Who knows what will exist
in 300 years anyhow?
From Mr Brian Haines
From Mr Brian Haines
I certainly enjoyed the last edition of Longevity. This stuff about growing trees I think I must
I was walking home late last night and at the side of the road I saw something that made me
wonder if I had wandered into another world. There were some road-works by our friends
Murphy. Lying there on top of the mounds of earth were wooden water-pipes. I did a double take
I can tell you. I did a bit of digging myself and found that these were the old original water mains
that had been dug up. Old Elm logs some 200 years old bored out to take the water. They were
still in very good condition, better indeed than the iron that replaced them.
I thought it rather sad these pipes stood a good chance of ending up on a skip. I have tried to
interest the local paper in these artifacts. Of course being Camden the locals can't raise enthusiasm
for any English historical remains.
From Mr Douglas Skrecky:
From Mr Douglas Skrecky:
I agree with Professor R.C.W. Ettinger's criticism of using acetone as a substitution medium,
which was suggested in my article How to Failure Proof Cryonics. Acetone has been used with
good results in freeze substitution, but the reason it is often used is not due to the fact that it is the
best possible solvent. It isn't. Rather the reason it is used seems to be because it is cheap. It is
probably too cheap for serious use as a solvent in critical applications. Dessication as Cryonic
Insurance addresses Professor Ettinger's present concerns, but I hope that he will continue to
provide valuable feedback if any other concerns arise.
Yvan Bozzonetticaught an error on my part in my article The Cause of Aging. In this article I implied that if a supplement didn't increase lifespan there was no point in taking it. In order to rectify this I am currently researching the effect of micronutrients on mood and have been quite fascinated by what I have uncovered thus far. I hope to share these findings before long in an upcoming issue of Longevity Report. As regards the effect on exercise I would like to mention that coenzyme Q10 has been found to be very effective in attenuating muscular injury.1 As coenzyme Q10 has also extended lifespan in two published trials it seems a fairly useful supplement overall to take.
1 Protective Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Exercise-Induced Muscular Injury 349-355 Vol.176
No.1 1991 Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
From Mrs Joy Cass
From Mrs Joy Cass
Thank you very much for sending me Longevity Report 36, which I have read cover to cover,
with great interest. I think your article How You Can Take it With You is absolutely splendid,
wonderfully clear and very helpful. I imagine that you have spent a great deal of time collecting
such detailed information.
I was particularly interested in the articles by Mr Yvan Bozzonetti. Although I could not entirely
follow his statements, I was most impressed by the way he writes of his experiments for the
"onlooking layman" like myself. He has a way with expression that makes him "likeable".
Thank you for publishing my letter1. In re-reading it, I must apologise for the "awful moan"2 of
the last two paragraphs. But the story takes a new turn after 3 October - when, quite suddenly, I
felt renewed. And, looking through my diary, I note than on 4 October I was taken to church. I
walked up to the altar rail quite steadily. On 15 October I walked quietly to the garage, sat in my
car, started it and gently reversed out. The next day I drove around the long drive we have here.
On 18 October I drove myself to church and since then have been happily driving to and fro, with
ease. On 12 November I had an appointment to see the consultant at Barnet hospital. I am now
right off the pills3 and do not have to visit the hospital for a check-up until 9 February.
1 Thank you for sending it: readers' letters are the best way of exchanging views amongst the readership.
2 I disagree that it was an "awful moan" - Longevity Report is here for people to discuss their health problems.
3 Your pills seem to have done you a lot of good. I know that you believe in God and all that, but
you should think of pills as being part of his healing work. After all, if you did not need to do
anything but let God provide, then you wouldn't eat and drink or even breathe for that matter! I
think that you could consider taking a good multivitamin such as Life Extension Mix [from Life
Plus, FREEPOST PO Box 24, Dunstable, Beds LU5 5UX - build up the dose gradually.] Another
anti aging substance I can recommend is KH-3 [buy from Boots.]
From Mr M.Sankey:
I hope that you will be kind enough to print the following press release:
One of our authors, M. Sankey, has been successful in getting a poem published. The poem, Geko, touches on the aspects
of longevity and regeneration and is included in an anthology of various new poets, encompassing a wide range of subjects.
The anthology, Spring Collection, is available in bookshops or by post from Arrival Press Unit 3 Wulfric Square
North Bretton Peterborough PE3 8RF 7 paperback, 11 hardback.
Congratulations to Dr Donaldson for the most intelligent article I have seen on Christianity. A
flaw: The Gospels could only be read as they do if they had been carefully constructed to tally, or
if they were true?1
I really feel that Yvan Bozzonetti should explain why he prefers to drink photographic fluid to
obtain tocopherols, when there is a perfectly good natural source in the soybean. Does he prefer
I fail to understand your joy in the inconsequential ramblings of Mrs Joy Cass. I think Longevity
Report is worthwhile because it is like getting a letter from some close friends every quarter2, like
minds in a sea of chaos. I am less interested in evangelism than survival. However, in the way of
such people, Mrs Cass has inadvertently touched on an important point: if I live two hundred
years I will probably not achieve what Mozart or Schubert, for instance, achieved in thirty. So
quality or quantity? Or is life all that matters? These are philosophical questions to concern all
immortalists. I am reminded of pictures in the old Venturist Voice, of people kicking ball and
playing tennis, presumably for eternity.
1. I am not sure what this means. As far as I am aware The Gospels don't tally exactly.
2. Longevity Report appears every other month, six times a year.
Longevity Report is here to discuss all points of view. As religion occupied the place in people's minds that concerns death, then it seems eminently correct to include the thoughts of religious people who take the trouble to write to us. I don't really think that they have the absolute answer, ie lie back, die, and rot or be burned in the hope that God will provide. However as Dr Donaldson and others have written, they have been pondering the things that trouble us for far longer than we have and may well have many ideas to contribute to the debate. Also their input may explain to us the hostility felt by many people, particularly those successful in the establishment, feel towards cryonics and life extension.
by Brian Haines
My shelf life is fast reaching expiry date. Nothing concentrates the mind so much we all know as
the fact that we are to be hanged on the morrow. I am fully aware that my choices are at present
to be burnt, frozen or box-up beneath the sod. By far the most resilient parts of my body to these
various means of treatment of the cold corpse are the teeth. In order then to be sure of some form
of immortality, to say nothing of enjoyment in the present I have taken a great interest in
My experience may be familiar to many. I was part of the post war baby boom. Sadly the war was
not the second world war and the quality of health care ranged through many of folk treatments
then in vogue. Perhaps I was lucky to escape the more experimental that came later and was left
to the more tried and tested country remedies available to poor families in the West of England.
Not until I was nine or ten years old was I exposed to the hands of the self appointed dental
surgeon. I remember that visit well, it lingers around my memory.
There were at that period many dentists who had no formal qualifications. My man was very
much of the old school, his experience garnered through practice in the slums of the 1870's and
80's of old London. I sat in his high upright chair stuffed with horse-hair. His treadle machine
ominously near. Injections to sooth the pain of grinding a mere rumour of what might be available
in the rare air of Wimpole Street or Belgrave Square.
"No need to be alarmed " my jolly dentist assured me. "A good dentist (such as himself) can tell
from the colour of the tooth when you get near to a nerve. You only get pain if you drill the pink
tissue near the nerve"
So far as I recall he didn't hurt me. But I remember the words so well. Successive dentists have
plunged needles into my mouth without questioning my desires in the matter. They have drilled
away enthusiastically in all directions. Even through the anaesthetic I have felt the twinges of pain
and I know they are hitting the nerve pulverising it to a premature death.
My belief is the coming of easy anaesthetic systems has brought a haphazard carelessness. An
encouragement to the lazy and inept. I have always been told I have good strong teeth. But they
now present a dismal picture of holes and craters created by the mal-practice of crude dental
And worse I have lost five or six crucial teeth which should have been able to last me a life-time
with better attention. It is only within the last ten years or so I have come realise how many
incompetent people have been released by the dental schools upon an unsuspecting public.
As I say, it is possible I had a subconscious knowledge planted in my mind that all was not well
from that early conversation. It hardened to a certainty when I had continued pain in teeth that
had received 383 unhappy attentions under the National Health service. Unable to bear the pain
any longer I was recommended by a friend to a 'whiz-kid' in Wimpole Street. My friend said
"surely it is worth any amount of money to be free of pain, whatever it costs". You have to be in
agony to understand the truth of that.
The man was expensive! very expensive, but oh! what a difference. It was a whole new ball game.
None of your pick and shovel stuff. The work was of a different order. It didn't seem like dentistry
anymore, at least not what I had been used to. It was almost a pleasure to sit and open my mouth.
It was sheer artistry. And the pain went. Subsequently I learned he was regarded as one of only
six dentists in Britain who were recognised as being at the top of the tree.
From that time I studied what was available and what should be done.
Which brings me to the present. I received from Longevity books three interesting paper backs.
Money by the Mouthful, How to be Dentally self-sufficient and Engines of Creation. They really
were presents but that is by the way.
As you might expect from the titles of two of them they are about dentistry. They are about the
poor state of the dental profession in the United States. There was accompanying the book the
criticism by an established dental practitioner printed before this article. Engines of Creation has a
section upon dental and health treatment: it is of a different order being a look into the future.
I found all three books absolutely fascinating. I had hoped the dentistry books would have
some form of "alternative dental therapy" on the lines of "new age" medicine. They don't.
They are more concerned with fairly standard routine preventative dental health. And to that
extent I do agree with the criticisms offered by Dr. Landini when he states that the books offer
nothing new. But I reject the rest of his criticism because I feel he has missed the point of the
These books are not meant as medical text books, they are written in a racy easy to read style
aimed at the general public. So far as I can see there is nothing in the books that could bring harm
to anyone following the advice therein. And I notice the good Doctor does not say that following
the advice you could come to harm. From the point of view of bringing the subject of oral hygiene
to the attention of the public they do an excellent job.
As an aside I should mention that there is at Bristol Dental Hospital a Professor Elderton who has
written about the possibility of allowing teeth to heal themselves. As I understand him, he is of the
opinion that there is a lot of over-drilling. Where teeth have started active decay all that should be
done is to clear off the parts which have become soft and then seal off the area with a plastic
preparation to allow the teeth to recover. There seem to be one or two other highly placed dental
surgeons who offer similar teaching. There was a public lecture at University College a few years
ago suggesting a change in attitudes.
In all these matters you have to make up your own mind upon what you think is best. The time
has long gone when the public is obliged to accept in blind faith everything proffered by the
professions in any field. Education has brought with it the means to make a judgment. The
States have always one jump ahead in producing books to explain how things are done. But we
have the information here if you search for it.
There is a book called Preventative Dentistry by J.O.Forest published in this country in 1981 that
covers the same ground, and another Clinical Dental Hygiene published in 1992 by Walsh,
Figures and Lamb which contains numerous illustrations. Both are excellent publications but
neither are best sellers. For the average member of the public they are lacking that element of
excitement that will draw a positive response. I have no doubt the two British books are more
dentally correct and academically precise. The problem is they don't have pizzazz. No oomph.
However they get you there in the end.
After reading How to be dentally self sufficient I went straight to the bathroom and cleaned my
teeth with floss (I find floss better than tape contrary to the instructions) and gave my teeth a
good brush with salt. The results were as good as I could have wished. If the books had been
available way back in my younger days I have no doubt at all I would be better off. I'm sorry to
say the British versions did not do that.
To my mind, the remarks in Engines of Creation hold true. There surely will come a time when
dental repair can be effected by medical means instead of mechanical drilling and filling. The
further political points made in the books hold true also. Apparently Karl Marx made the point
that we are servants of our creations and not masters of them. We have to be very careful of how
we approach all new discoveries or we stand in danger of being oppressed. It may be that the
ability to cure dental problems by giving pills and potions could lead to even worse excesses in the
dental profession than we have at the moment. My original dentist who had learned a few simple
practical methods would not recognise what went on today, at the same time his methods did not
lead to unnecessary work or active destruction. At least I do not think they did. I know that when
I have repeated his maxim to present day dentists, there has been reluctant agreement to the idea
pain does not have to be caused to the patient if the dentist takes care and time to see what is
The need to make money takes precedence over the human condition. It is a common cry by
doctors and dentists alike that they do not have the time to give proper care because they are not
As Karl Marx said, it is the money that dictates and controls human activity. It should be the other
way round. This is the question addressed in the book, it is all very well putting people into
suspended animation, the question is, can you rely upon future generations wanting to bring them
out? We must plan systems of democracy that are in control of the State. At the present time
there is no State where the people have full power in reality. Much of what goes on seems to be in
spite of the desire of the public. We got a National Health service certainly, but is it the service
I think these three books gave me something to get my teeth into. When you think about it your
teeth are the most important part of your life. If you don't put things in your mouth you head for
very early extinction. If you feel the need to know more about dentistry try reading The Roots of
Dentistry published by the British Dental Association, that is another good read for a rainy
A One-a-dayMay Keep the Doctor Away
by Douglas Skrecky
For years mainstream medicine has looked down on the humble one-a-day multivitamin &
multimineral supplement. Eat a healthy diet and forget supplements has been the standard
recommendation. The problem with this advice is that it is literally pie-in-the-sky. Few people are
going to be willing to restrict themselves indefinitely to things like fruits, raw vegetables, wheat
bran and soybeans when richer fare is available. Few people as a result are ever going to obtain
the optimal amount of all micronutrients from diet alone.
In a recent landmark study elderly individuals over 65 years of age were given either a supplement
or a placebo for a year. The supplement was found to strengthen immune system responses and
reduced the number of days of illness due to infection from 48 days/year (placebo) to 23 days
(supplement). This impressive result was obtained without using megadoses of single nutrients.
The supplement contained just 400 IU of vitamin A, 16 mg beta-carotene, 2.2 mg thiamin, 1.5 mg
riboflavin, 16 milligrams niacin, 3 mg B6, 0.4 mg folate, 0.004 mg B12, 80 mg vitamin C, 0.004
mg vitamin D, 44 mg vitamin E, 16 mg iron, 14 mg zinc, 1.4 mg copper, 0.02 mg selenium, 0.2
mg iodine, 200 mg calcium and 100 mg magnesium. The placebo contained 200 mg calcium and
100 mg magnesium.1
CONCLUSION: The humble ONE-A-DAY supplement deserves to become a staple of medical
1 Effect of Vitamin and Trace-element Supplementation on Immune Responses and Infection in
Elderly Subjects 1124-1127 Vol.340 November 7,1992 Lancet
by Yvan Bozzonetti.
Influenza comes in three main kinds labelled A, B, and C. Only the A species, the worst of the
three, is countered by a specific vaccine. This has been distributed for some time now. In the
recent years, the flu vaccine has been extended to a mixture of A and B strains. The most
threatening A kind is now well known: Mutations give a new coating to the viruses and a new
vaccine is called for nearly every year. In fact, the concept of mutations may only be a theory.
Another view assumes there are many strains more or less in dormancy in some "storage species".
They jump on the homo sapiens on chance encounter and produce an epidemic if there is no built-in resistance. There may be a hierarchy of viral infectiveness, one specific kind taking over another
precisely defined. Indeed, influenza seems cyclic, the same "mutation" recurring every 60 to 80
years or so.
As all viruses, the influenza one is made of a tiny strain of genetic material, here a DNA molecule,
encapsulated in a protein icosahedron. Outside, contrary to most simple viral particles, there is a
second coating made of denatured cell wall. That phospholipid membrane retains some proteins
recognized by the immune system, this is the basic material recognized by the defence system of
At the origin, the flu virus seems to have evolved from a detached genetic fragment picked up in
some avian or avian-like species. Some think they are the last genetic trace of the dinosaur world.
Today, many birds are the natural storage house of the flu virus. In our countries, these strains
don't jump on mammal species, only a poor country way of life produces the prolonged close
contact with domestic birds needed to raise a human tolerant virus. Flu is definitively a third
Present day vaccines are made of killed viruses. They reflect a state of the art prevailing twenty
years ago. Today, molecular biochemistry allows more sophisticated solutions. The first is to
select only the coating proteins with antigenic action. That allows the creation a risk free vaccine
without allergic side effects or contamination by escaping living viruses. Another possibility is to
use the DNA molecule coding for these proteins, something simpler on the technical ground.
Even a protein fragment, or the DNA molecule coding for it may be the basis for a modern
A common cold looks at first as a "small flu". Unfortunately, a cold is not a single illness, it stands
as the generic name for a full spectrum of viral strains. More than ninety viruses are known, each
with as many kinds as the A, B, C, ones of the flu. Countless mutations or sub-species clog the
way towards a solution.
Nobody know where the viruses come from or even if there is an animal species storing them.
To invade a cell, a virus needs first to stick to it, this is done by denaturing a protein at the cell
surface with the help of an oxidative process. Most viruses find that hard and rely on bacterial
attack to do the job. Staphylococcus species are the main culprits.
Lung smoking is the best way to oxidise protein at the cell surface, a single puff of tobacco smoke
contains up to one million of billions of oxidizing particles. To compound the effect, tar burns out
epithelial cells of the lung. These cells normally clear out the bronchial tree from dust and
bacteria. In our modern society, smokers are therefore the main storage site of cold viruses.
Can we hope to suppress tobacco or put all smokers on antibiotics on a life long basis? If the
answer is no, colds can't be overcome... At least if we have no vaccine.
To stop a progressing viral attack is very hard. High doses of vitamin C are said, by Linus
Pauling, to do the job. Guanidine kills most viruses in the test tube, unfortunately that works at
doses producing very acute inflammatory responses, another compound must then neutralize that
effect. Whatever the prospects of a cure, nothing will come close to the vaccine action.
Vaccination, not only protects the vaccinated person, it also impedes the viral diffusion and so
may be useful even for people not vaccinated.
With the killed virus technology of the flu vaccine, there is no hope to find an effective cocktail
made of more than ninety viral species. The DNA fragment coding for a protein domain opens
some possibilities. We can string-up many such domains to order the building by the cells of an
antigenic protein able to elicit a reaction against a full set of viruses. Each domain in the protein
will display a particular form similar to the one found on a given virus coat. In that way, a small
number of proteins may confer a good protection against many viral species. Many natural
proteins are made from up to twenty domains, five such engineered components may then protect
against one hundred different viral attacks.
That vaccine, as the flu one may be produced in large quantity many month in advance.
Unfortunately, it forms only a first defense line, it cannot cope with all possible mutations or
variations in a given cold virus. When an outbreak comes to light, a blotting test may recognize in
some minutes the virus implied.
A denaturing agent such urea or guanidine allows to get the viral DNA, after cutting by some
restriction enzymes, the fragment coding for the protein recognized by the immune system may be
isolated with the help of a complementary single strand DNA. The complementary strand
recognizes a stable part of the coding DNA. The variable one defining the specificity of the virus
is not known at that step. To include it in a vaccine, we need to produce it in large quantity.
Fortunately, the polymerase chain reaction, PCR for short, allows duplication by many millions
times any DNA strand in only a few hours.
Often, a wild cold is not so simple, many viral kinds are implied in a single case. The PCR will
then produces a cocktail including all the different strands. Glued together, these DNA will form a
ring or plasmid able to vaccinate against the particular cold implied. All production steps are
done with small apparatus and may be completed before the virus expands too much. On
the other hand, that kind of "local vaccine" cannot be produced by a laboratory, everybody must
buy the basic products and "cook" their own formula when needed. The worst problem it to
give some biochemical literacy to everyone.
If you want to read, you need to learn it first, if you don't want colds, you need to read
biochemical molecules... Scientific literacy is not a cultural choice, it stands as a way of life... or
I hoped that more will follow on this topic. So much has been tried, and failed, to stop the spread
of colds. Maybe the method of customised self vaccination may be the solution we all seek. Read
about it by clicking here: Specific Cold Vaccine Cook Book
Deprenyl, Morton Shulman
Deprenyl, Morton Shulmanand Me
By Ben Best
This article is reprinted from Canadian Cryonics News by kind permission of its editor. Canadian
Cryonics News is a newsletter similar in circulation to Longevity Report and in some respects its
contents have a similar feel. In particular, it will report on subjects such as Permafrost Burials and
other topics that are eschewed by mainstream cryonics periodicals. It appears quarterly, is on
average 20 pages long and the subscription is only $14/year ($10 in North America). The article
that follows is typical of the standard and quality of the newsletter. I would urge Longevity Report
readers to support this newsletter as well, as it seems to stand for similar ideals. Unfortunately
they seem short of non-editorial authors, so contributions are also welcomed, but at the low price
they are unable, as far as I know, to offer free subscriptions to authors. Canadian Cryonics News
PO Box 788, Station "A", Toronto, Canada M5W 1G3
Deprenyl (also known as L-Deprenyl, Selegiline and Eldepryl) is a prescription drug for use in
Parkinson's Disease. Outside of its medically-approved use, however, are claims that it can slow
aging, treat Alzheimer's Disease and enhance sex drive. The foremost North American promoter
of Deprenyl has been none other than the Toronto-based Canadian celebrity Morton Shulman,
founder of Deprenyl Research, Ltd.
Deprenyl was discovered in the 1950s and studied since the 1960s by Dr. Joseph Knoll, Professor
and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Semmelweis University of Medicine in
Budapest, Hungary. In 1988 he published a paper in Mechanisms of Aging and Development
(Volume 46, pages 237-262) in which he reported that the average lifespan of rats treated with
Deprenyl exceeded the maximum lifespan of rats not treated with Deprenyl.
Parkinson's Disease (also known as paralysis agitans or shaking palsy) is a progressive disease of
later life which is characterized by tremor of resting muscles, the slowing of movement and
general muscle weakness. Since Parkinsonism is known to be the result of dopamine deficiency in
the substantia nigra area of the brain, the most common drug treatment since the 1970s has been
Levodopa (L-dopa), a chemical which is readily converted (decarboxylated) to dopamine.
The average adult experiences a decrease in the level of substantia nigra dopamine at an average
rate of 13% per decade after the age of 45. Parkinsonian symptoms typically become manifest
when the dopamine level has dropped to 30% what it was in youth. The natural breakdown (or
oxidative polymerization) of dopamine by the enzyme MonoAmine Oxidase (MAO, type B) in the
brain is what gives the substantia nigra its distinctive black striated appearance. Breakdown
products of dopamine oxidation are evidently toxic to the very neurons that produce dopamine in
the substantia nigra. Deprenyl evidently not only inhibits the activity of MAO-B, but elevates
substantia nigra levels of the human body's most potent natural antioxidant enzyme, SuperOxide
Dismutase (SOD) [Journal of Neural Transmission, Vol.86, p.77-80 (1991)].
Parkinson's Disease struck Canada's most famous physician, Morton Shulman (known
affectionately as "Morty") in 1982. After a number of years of taking Levodopa, he became
unable to move without assistance. Although Deprenyl was not an approved drug in North
America, it had been available on prescription in Europe since the late 1970s. Like a quarter of the
Parkinsonian patients who take Deprenyl, Shulman experienced a dramatic recovery. "Within 24
hours of taking the drug I stopped shaking and shuffling, returned to normal and went back to
work," Shulman said.
Shulman purchased 15% (later increased to 28%) of Somerset Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey
company which was struggling to get FDA approval for Deprenyl in the United States. Then he
set up Deprenyl Research in Canada to acquire the Canadian rights to the drug. He wrote a nasty
letter to the Canadian Minister of National Health and Welfare, which was followed by an article
on Shulman's dramatic recovery in Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Health and
Welfare Canada took the unusual step of allowing patient's access to Deprenyl if their doctor
ordered it directly from Shulman's company. Since non-Canadians probably don't understand why
government officials tremble when Shulman shouts, it is worth providing some biographical
information on the man.
Shulman's career as a public figure began when he became Chief Coroner of Toronto in 1963. His
1975 book Coroner (published by the Canadian publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside) details this
period of his life. Unlike the coroners who preceded him, Shulman was not satisfied to merely
determine the cause of death. He lobbied actively for legal changes to prevent the recurrence of
death due to many observed causes. He published yearbooks and called press conferences which
propelled him into the national limelight as a progressive crusader. (Possibly Shulman was a role
model for the Riverside Coroner who initiated the homicide charges against Alcor by calling a
press conference. This coroner, Raymond Carrillo, had earlier propelled himself into the American
media limelight by calling a press conference to reveal that Liberace had died of AIDS.)
When Shulman crusaded against cancer quacks, he received widespread support from the
Establishment. But when he revealed a death due to forceps left in an intestine during
surgery, many in the medical profession were outraged (since such errors were usually
discreetly covered-up). The media supported Shulman, and the counting of medical instruments
during surgery soon became standard medical practice in Canada. The media turned hostile when
Shulman crusaded for alcohol breathalyser tests, but the arousal of feelings and publicity
eventually led to breathalyser legislation. Shulman was invited to Detroit by Ford and GM, where
he toured their plants and was invited to give suggestions about how to build safer cars. GM gave
him a Cornell University study on how to build safer highways, which Shulman used to excoriate
the Toronto Road Commissioner on his return home.
Never one to shrink from controversy, Shulman attempted to change Canada's abortion laws by
publicizing the deaths of women who died as a result of pumping lysol into their wombs. To assist
in his investigation of suicides under the influence of LSD, he took the drug himself. After
observing no effects after two hours, he relaxed and tried to watch television. He began to
imagine he was a character in the movie he was watching, and had to be physically restrained from
attacking the TV. Thereafter, he sought for LSD to be banned. Shulman's chapter on suicide
begins with the interesting statement: "Life to me is so precious that I cannot conceive of
anyone voluntarily surrendering it and each suicide I had to investigate deeply disturbed
In 1967 a fire broke out in a "fireproof" hospital of the Workman's Compensation Board, resulting
in the death of a patient. Although the federal Minister of Labour had given speeches about the
fireproof construction of this government-built hospital, Shulman received information that the
ceiling was inflammable, plans had not been submitted to the Fire Marshall before construction,
and that the hospital had not been properly inspected in the eight years since it had been built. The
investigation led to a political ruckus which ended in Shulman getting fired as Toronto's Chief
Shulman then decided to go into politics, and run for the federal legislature. Although Shulman
had always been a Tory (he candidly admits that his role as president of a Progressive
Conservative Association Riding led to his appointment as Chief Coroner), his political
confrontations with the Tories in power meant he had to switch parties to get elected. He was
courted by both the Liberals and the NDP. Although he regards himself as pro-capitalist, he chose
the socialist NDP because they told him he could run in any Riding he chose. Shulman's views are
not incompatible with those of the NDP insofar as he has been a strenuous advocate of legislation
to enforce his views of public safety. He won a decisive victory as an NDP candidate in the
traditionally Conservative High Park Riding in Toronto.
Shulman was as flamboyant in the legislature as he had been in the Coroner's Office. He took
clandestine photos of government members sleeping during debates, and horrified legislators by
brandishing automatic weapons at them in his campaign for more stringent gun control laws. In
1975 he decided not to run for a third term, but he continued his political column in the Toronto
Sun newspaper. From 1977 to 1982 he hosted The Shulman File, a confrontational talk show on
Toronto's independent TV station CityTV. In 1982 he was stricken with Parkinson's Disease.
Morton Shulman was no stranger to business practice. As a Toronto coroner, Shulman had made
several hundred thousand dollars from stock market investments. Although he was not a
millionaire, in 1966 he wrote an introductory book on stock market operation and other
investments, under the pretentious title Anyone Can Make a Million. The book became a best
seller, first in Canada, then in the United States. And Shulman became a millionaire. By the 1990s
his fortune was estimated at $40 million.
Shulman marketed Deprenyl in Canada under his special dispensation from Health and Welfare
Canada, until formal approval as a prescription drug was given by the FDA in September, 1989,
and by the Canadian authorities four months later. Deprenyl continues to sell proportionately
better in Canada than in the United States. At the end of 1991, Deprenyl Research stock closed at
$20.875 per share, a 255% gain from the first of the year -- making it the second highest growth
stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange for 1991.
Shulman had also launched Deprenyl Animal Health, to market Deprenyl for extending the lives of
small companion animals (dogs and cats), agreeing to pay 3.5% of the profits to Dr. Knoll. In
January, 1992, Deprenyl Research was incorporated in the United States. 1992 saw a dramatic
drop in stock price, however. When Shulman resigned as Deprenyl's CEO in September 23, 1992,
the share price stood close to $5 per share. Shulman had been criticised for earning most of the
company's money through outside investment and currency market dealings.
I first learned of Deprenyl from Dr. Thomas Donaldson's January 1990 column in Saul Kent's Life
Extension Report. In the November 1990 issue of the same magazine, Saul Kent reported that
studies at the University of Toronto by Dr. William Milgram had confirmed Knoll's work on
extended lifespan through Deprenyl [Life Sciences, Vol.47, p.415-420 (1990)]. Although the rats
in the Milgram study and those in the Knoll study were both started on Deprenyl at 24 months of
age, the strains were different. In Knoll's study, control rats lived 35 months, whereas Milgram's
only lived 28 months. Therefore, it is not surprising that Milgram's Deprenyl-treated rats lived
only 16% longer than the controls (versus 210% for Knoll's Deprenyl-treated rats) -- because the
Milgram rats were so much closer to the end of their lifespan when treatment began.
In the Fall of 1990 I attended the first European Cryonics Conference in England, organized by
Saul Kent. Saul had invited Dr. Joseph Knoll to appear as a featured speaker, explaining the
scientific case for Deprenyl. I was told that Dr. Knoll did not attend the conference because
tumultuous events in Hungary had required his assistance in reorganizing the Medical Association
of that country.1 One of the journalists was an ex-pharmacist who started spewing accusations of
criminal irresponsibility at Saul Kent for advising the use of a prescription drug, Deprenyl. Having
been to pharmacy school myself, I knew the kind of brainwashing she was parroting, and she
made me very angry. I attempted to diplomatically confront her, but she was restless and fleet-of-foot, so I never caught up with her.
Upon investigating the Life Sciences article in the University of Toronto Biomedical Library, I
discovered that the Milgram study had been financed by Shulman's company. I was seriously
considering taking Deprenyl, but was aware that a prescription might be difficult to obtain. Bruce
Waugh (currently our Cryonics Society of Canada Vice President) informed me that he had gotten
a prescription for Deprenyl from Dr. Shulman.
The April 1991 issue of Cryonics magazine carried a reprint of Saul Kent's Deprenyl article.
Things were coming together in my mind and I made an appointment with Dr. Shulman's
secretary to see Dr. Shulman.
Dr. Shulman's office looked more like a large study than a medical office. There were bookcases
laden with books, and there was little or no medical equipment in sight. Shulman sat stiffly behind
his desk, and I got the impression that he had no intention of leaving his chair. When he asked
why I had come, I began a description of my long interest in life extension, until his eyes
brightened and he exclaimed, "You want some Deprenyl!" He immediately began writing a
prescription. His prescription included enough refills to last me for years (somewhat disappointing
because I would have liked an excuse to revisit). He prescribed 5 mg every 3 days, which caused
me to point-out that Dr. Knoll recommends 5 mg three times weekly. He said that Knoll had been
in the very chair in which I was sitting only a week earlier, and that they had discussed their
disagreement about dosage frequency.
I tried to shift the conversation to cryonics by showing him the Deprenyl article in the April 1991
Cryonics magazine. He had never seen the article, and had never heard of Saul Kent or The Life
Extension Foundation. He was eager for me to give him the magazine, which I did -- along with a
copy of the Alcor "Blue Book". He said he knew very little about cryonics, but that he was up to
his neck in work associated with his role as CEO of Deprenyl Research (still a small company,
numbering less than forty employees). Nonetheless, he said he looked forward to reading the
cryonics material very soon. The telephone then rang, Dr. Shulman became engrossed in a
business-related call, and I decided I should be courteous and leave.
With a few initial interruptions, I have been taking 5 mg of Deprenyl twice a week since the
middle of 1991. This is slightly more conservative than the prescription I was given, and it is also
much easier to remember to take my pill if it is always on the same days of the week. Tuesdays
and Fridays are "Deprenyl Day" for me -- and these are also the days I empty Box 788.
My initial interruptions represent doubts I had about taking the drug -- and suspicions that it was
causing me mental fatigue. I eventually decided that the mental fatigue was due to causes other
than the Deprenyl (the stress of a Gestalt Weekend and the Alcor Transport Course). When I
expressed doubts to Saul Kent, he said that Deprenyl has a relatively long history of use in Europe
at higher doses, with no documented harmful effects. True enough, the dose for Parkinsonism
treatment is 10 mg per day. But I am still wary of toying with brain chemistry. The brain of a rat is
probably much simpler than that of a human being. I have long made a hobby-horse of the fact
that drug alterations in brain function are very difficult to detect due to the epistemological
problems involved, unless the alterations are VERY gross. Moreover, I do not see the relationship
between precluding Parkinsonian symptoms and such an enormous lengthening in lifespan (which
I would expect would require alterations in most cells of the body). How does Deprenyl extend
lifespan, if it indeed does?
The January 1992 issue of Life Extension Report contains an article by Saul Kent on the use of
Deprenyl in Alzheimer's patients. Saul cites increasing concentrations of MAO-B in humans with
advancing age -- even more so in Alzheimer's patients than in healthy, elderly people. Ten
milligrams of Deprenyl daily reduced MAOB-induced oxidation of dopamine, norepinephrine and
phenylethylamine by 90%. Saul cites a number of double-blind studies in which Alzheimer's
patients displayed noticeable mental improvement with 10 mg of Deprenyl daily.
I have avoided experimenting with many psychoactive drugs for the sake of protecting my mental
hardware. I do not drink alcohol and have never taken LSD or even smoked hash. As a cryonicist,
I am concerned with preserving my life, but my foremost concern is with preserving my brain, and
hence my mind. Nonetheless, when it is evident that the course of nature leads to predictable brain
chemistry deterioration, "tampering" in ways that have a cogent rationale does not seem
imprudent. The experiment continues ... with trepidation.
1 I have heard that Dr Knoll did not attend because he discovered that the conference was mainly
about cryonic suspension, and he did not want his name associated with it.
Also it is amusing to note that Steve Gallant reported on Deprenyl in Longevity Report (no 16, page 6) before it appeared anywhere else in the immortalist press! The timing was pure chance admittedly, as the news was available to everyone. It does go to show, though, that buried within the vast amount of scientific papers generated each year there must be much still untapped knowledge for life extenders to use.
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