X-Message-Number: 20030
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 10:02:32 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #20024 - #20029

For Olaf Henny:

Regeneration of our central nervous system, and the idea (which some
neuroscientists think has been proven but others still argue) that
we generate new neurons in all regions of our brain, not just the
a region in the inner membranes covering part of the ventricles (open
areas filled with cerebral fluid) and our hippocampus in a layer of
special cells, but throughout our brain. Various influences stop
this generation; stress of any kind will do so. Damage tends to 
promote it, but the result is mixed because generally damage also
causes stress   

Study of this phenomenon has now gone on for at least 10 years. It
is very important because it may someday allow us to repair brains
rather than just spinal cords. This latter repair now looks imminent.

So Christopher Reeve's paralysis, even with out the advanced medical
treatments someday available from work on generation of new neurons,
may easily show some slight signs of repair. 

Unfortunately, if we accept the most common theory of how memories
work, generation of new neurons to replace those lost by the events
before "death" and suspension would not also repair the MEMORIES
in the regenerated brains. I'll add, though, that if we accept that
neurons go through a slow (and sometimes fast) turnover, even in 
some but not all regions of our brain, then this also raises questions
for the most common theory of how our memory works. For those who 
don't know about this theory, fundamentally it says that our memories
are stored in the pattern of connections of our neurons, which stays
fixed for our whole lifetime. And generation of new neurons raises
questions for this theory because, after all, the new neurons must
form new connections or they will soon disappear.

Yes, I am an interested party here. I believe this issue is important
to cryonics, too, and for that reason have tried to follow such 
research in detail, with explanations of various subtle points along
the way, in the newsletter I put out, PERIASTRON. We will find out if
the common theory of memory continues, and if it does not what will
take its place. 

			Best wishes and long long life to all,

				Thomas Donaldson

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