I'm noticing that no-one has actually tried to answer half of the question: besides Alzheimer's, what sorts of degenerative brain awfulness is out there?

Sorry to neglect your question. I intended to write something initially and then didn't get around to it. I can think of two brain diseases off the top of my head that spare various brain structures that might be thought to implement and store "the self". This suggests that you at least need to do a case by case analysis?

A probably self-sparing disease is Encephalitis_lethargica which causes (or caused?) physical catatonia (probably by damaging some components of the brain that use or produce dopamine) while seeming to spare other things for l... (read more)

What deserves cryocide?

by rlpowell 1 min read19th Apr 201239 comments


So being signed up for cryonics shifts my views on life and death, as might be expected.

In particular, it focuses my views of success on the preservation of my brain (everything else too, just in case, but especially the brain).  This means, obviously, not just the lump of meat but also the information within it.

If I'm suffering a degenerative disease to that meat or its information, I'm going to want to cryocide to preserve the information (and the idea of living through slow brain death doesn't thrill me regardless).

What I don't know is: given the current state of science, what sorts of things do I need to be worried about?

In particular, I'm wondering about Alzheimer's; does it appear to be damage to the information, or to the retrieval mechanism?

But any other such diseases interest me in this context.