"Give with a free hand, but give only
-- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin
I have nothing to sell you but
hope, and that I give you for free.
The "Gerbil food cocktail"
The contents of this
section have been moved to the Exercise page.
See also Cocoa
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA)
Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
GCSF (granulocyte-colony stimulating
The contents of this
section have been moved to the Neurogenesis page.
Promising Drug Candidate Reverses
Age-Related Memory Loss in Mice
ScienceDaily (Oct. 13, 2010) —
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh report a new
experimental compound that can improve memory and cognitive
function in aging mice. The compound is being investigated
with a view to developing a drug that could slow the natural
decline in memory associated with aging.
In a study published in the Journal of
Neuroscience, the team reports the effects of a new synthetic
compound that selectively blocks 11beta-HSD1 on the ability of
mice to complete a memory task, called the Y maze.
"Normal old mice often have marked
deficits in learning and memory just like some elderly people.
We found that life-long partial deficiency of 11beta-HSD1
prevented memory decline with aging. But we were very
surprised to find that the blocking compound works quickly
over a few days to improve memory in old mice suggesting it
might be a good treatment for the already elderly."
"These results provide proof-of-concept
that this class of drugs could be useful to treat age-related
decline in memory. We previously showed that carbenoxolone, an old drug
that blocks multiple enzymes including 11beta-HSD1, improves
memory in healthy elderly men and in patients with type 2
diabetes after just a month of treatment, so we are optimistic
that our new compounds will be effective in humans. The next
step is to conduct further studies with our preclinical
candidate to prove that the compound is safe to take into
clinical trials, hopefully within a year."
New Drug May Help Rescue The
ScienceDaily (Mar. 31, 2008) — As
people age, their brains pay the price — inflammation goes up,
levels of certain neurotransmitters go down, and the result is
a plethora of ailments ranging from memory impairment and
depression to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. But in a long-term
study with implications to treat these and other conditions,
researchers have found that an experimental drug, taken
chronically, has the ability to stem the effects of aging in
the rat brain.
The drug, temporarily designated
S18986, interacts with AMPA
(short for α- Amino-3-hydroxy-5- methylisoxazole-4-
propionic acid, or ampakine) receptors in the brain.
These receptors transmit excitatory signals in the brain, and
researchers were interested in
experimental AMPA-receptor drugs (such as S18986) for their
neuroprotective abilities and for the way they temporarily
boost memory. But rather than investigating the compound’s
short-term effects, Alfred E. Mirsky Professor Bruce McEwen
and his lab members made a far longer commitment: The
scientists studied the drug’s impacts on middle-aged to
elderly rats and found that, when administered daily over four
consecutive months, it appeared to improve memory and slow
brain aging... When compared to control animals that had
received only sugar water, the drugged rats were not only more
active and better at memory tests, but their brains showed
physical signs of slowed aging. Neurons in the forebrain that
produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter known to play a role
in learning and memory, had 37 percent less decline.
Dopamine-producing neurons, which are responsible for
sustaining activity and motivation levels, slowed their
decline by 43 percent. Levels of inflammation in the brain
were also significantly lower. “Every marker we chose to look
at seemed to indicate there was some preservation of function
during aging with chronic treatment,” Hunter says. The drug
appears to slow aging’s effects throughout the entire brain...
Let's hear it for multitasking! I
hate that word when I see it in job descriptions. To me,
what it means is that management can't make up its mind, so they
have their employees jumping from task to task to task.
Multitasking is the consequence of bad management. You
can't think two thoughts at the same time. Not even
computers can work on more than one task at the same time unless
they have multiple processors, but then, each one is only
working on one task at a time. Clever operating systems
fool you into thinking that a computer is doing many tasks at
the same time, when in fact what they are doing is swapping
tasks in and out so fast that it just looks like it. There
is an enormous amount of computer dead time between human
keystrokes on a keyboard, so they send the processor off to do a
hundred or so other things while it waits for your finger.
But this article says that switching tasks helps you
focus. That may be, but I think it must be left up to your
own "processor" to decide what "diversions" are most
appropriate, otherwise, like a freight train, your thought get
derailed and it takes great (inefficient) effort to get things
back on track.
Learn More Quickly by
Transcranial Magnetic Brain Stimulation, Study in Rats
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2011)
..."In general, the activity of the cells drops as a result of
a low-frequency stimulation, i.e. with one magnetic pulse per
second. At higher frequencies from five to 50 pulses per
second, the activity of the cells increases. This rhythm is
based on the natural theta rhythm of four to seven Hertz which
can be observed in an EEG,"...
Brief Diversions Vastly
Improve Focus, Researchers Find
ScienceDaily (Feb. 8, 2011) — A new study in the journal
Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of
attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a
task can dramatically improve one's ability to focus on that
task for prolonged periods... "We propose that deactivating
and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused," he
said. "From a practical standpoint, our research suggests
that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a
final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief
breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you
stay focused on your task!"
Intense Prep for Law School Admission Test
Alters Brain Structure
ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2012)
…The new study shows that reasoning
training does alter brain connections, which is good news for
the test prep industry, but also for people who have poor
reasoning skills and would like to improve them. The findings
are reported today (Wednesday, Aug. 22) in the open access
journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.
"A lot of people still believe that you
are either smart or you are not, and sure, you can practice
for a test, but you are not fundamentally changing your
brain,"… "It shows, with rigorous analysis, that brain
pathways important for thinking and reasoning remain plastic
in adulthood, and that intensive, real-life educational
experience that trains reasoning also alters the brain
pathways that support reasoning ability."… [ … and it’s hard
plasticity in white matter microstructure: reasoning training
alters structural connectivity.
Allyson P. Mackey, Kirstie J. Whitaker,
Silvia A. Bunge.
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 2012; 6 DOI:
Sleep Discovery Could Lead to
Therapies That Improve Memory
11, 2013 ..."The Critical Role of Sleep Spindles in
Hippocampal-Dependent Memory: A Pharmacology Study," published
in the Journal of Neuroscience...
researchers found that zolpidem (Ambien) significantly
increased the density of sleep spindles and improved verbal
Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse
age-related memory decline in mice
Date: October 26, 2014
Source: Columbia University Medical Center
Summary: Dietary cocoa flavanols —- naturally occurring
bioactives found in cocoa —- reversed age-related memory
decline in healthy older adults, according to a new study.
Flavanols are also found naturally in tea leaves and in
certain fruits and vegetables.
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Updated: October 14,
Inception: January 23, 2010