"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
 -- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin
Memory Enhancement

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 Gerbil Food Cocktail page.

The contents of this section have been moved to the Exercise page.


See also Cocoa
         Stem Cell
         Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA)
         Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
         GCSF (granulocyte-colony stimulating factor)

The contents of this section have been moved to the Neurogenesis page.

Other news:

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 Aging Brain

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...

Learn More Quickly by Transcranial Magnetic Brain Stimulation, Study in Rats Suggests

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,"...

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.

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 work!]

Experience-dependent 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: 10.3389/fnana.2012.00032

[PubMed search…]

Sleep Discovery Could Lead to Therapies That Improve Memory
Mar. 11, 2013  ..."The Critical Role of Sleep Spindles in Hippocampal-Dependent Memory: A Pharmacology Study," published in the Journal of Neuroscience...
...The researchers found that zolpidem (Ambien) significantly increased the density of sleep spindles and improved verbal memory consolidation...

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, 2010
Inception: January 23, 2010