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Researchers Restore Youthful Memory In Aging Mice

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the je-me-souviens dept.

Biotech 145

An anonymous reader writes "German neuroscientists made a breakthrough in 'age-related cognitive decline', a common condition that often begins in one's late 40s (especially declarative memory — the ability to recall facts and experiences). Their new study identifies a genetic 'switch' for the cluster of learning and memory genes that cause memory impairment in aging mice. By injecting an enzyme, the team 'flipped' the switch to its on position for older mice, giving them the memory and learning performance they'd enjoyed when they were young. Now the team ultimately hopes to recover seemingly lost long-term memory in human patients." The video, which explains the gene flipping mechanism, is worth a watch (2:18).

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145 comments

Restore Youthful Memory In Aging Mice (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258730)

So they remember everything, but they don't know anything?

Re:Restore Youthful Memory In Aging Mice (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259116)

So they remember everything, but they don't know anything?

Silence, Pinky, or I shall have to hurt you.

Hmmmm (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258736)

I'm not in my 40's yet and I already need this done to me...

Re:Hmmmm (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258854)

If you're that young and already having memory problems (assuming you don't have a brain tumor or something), it's lifestyle related. Get out and exercise, eat well, there's probably some nutrient you're missing. Eat lot's of broccoli. Sleep enough. Don't under-estimate the brain wasting effects of alcohol or cocaine. I don't know you so I can't say exactly what your personal problem is.

A lot of people, for example, don't eat enough vegetables. They'll eat a salad once a week or an apple every few days or something and hope that's good enough. It's not. You may not notice the effects right away, but over time they will add up as your body uses up its stored nutrients.

Same thing with sleep. When you are in college you can get away with binge drinking on the weekends and never sleeping (actually you'll notice the effects of that right away, but they might not be overwhelming), but after a few years you're going to need to take a break and rebuild your energy. A lot of people hit 28 and think they are getting old and tired, but the truth is old-age doesn't set in that early, they're just seeing the effects of not treating their body right. Do what you need to do to rebuild your energy (personally I suggest distance running, and this book is really great motivation [google.com], but do what works for you).

Re:Hmmmm (5, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258960)

I'm totally with you, esp. on the last point. My wife and I had a kid a year ago, and sleep hasn't been the same since. Over the same period of time, I've learned for the first time in my life what it means to have to be humble about my memory. Used to be near photographic. Now it's all a jumble. Shows you what 13 months of 5 hours a night of sleep (with the occasional additional nap to almost catch up) will do to you.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32261920)

Go fish oil, young man, fish oil!

get molecularly distilled dha, No mercury/cadmium (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32262266)

you can get molecularly distilled fish oil, this has the heavy metals and pcb's/bromo-blah's etc removed. and it can be very cheap so price is no excuse. in fact ive used several brands of fish oils for over a decade and feel that ive noticed a significant difference between the quality of different brands.

on the price issue, you can get capsules that dont mention any distillation or any heavy metal levels or such, from your supermarket and this is what most people buy because of convenience. easy to swallow a capsule and you dont have to be concerned with the taste of the fish oil. but i highly recommend against this.

i recommend buying a liquid oil getting it sent from a wholesaler so you know its fresh (and hasnt been sitting on a shelf for 1year+) then keeping the bottle in your fridge, and taking spoonfuls when you dose, but otherwise keeping it in the fridge. remember the good oils go rancid, so i treat the photo-oxidation and thermal issue seriously.

i am going to plug a couple of brands. Firstly, Melrose, http://www.melrosehealth.com.au/, is awesome and really cheap, cheaper than the bulk supermarket stuff and infinitely more efficacious. I now see from their website that they have a new product, the 18/12 fish oil, i used to buy their cod liver oil so my comments regarding the possibility of being limited by the level of vitA was directed towards the cod liver oil product. i havnt actually tried their 18/12 fish oil, but it looks good, i guess they had to keep up with the competition.

then, slightly more expensive but i feel its well worth it to get the top quality, there is Metagenics, specifically, Ultra Dha/epa distillates, https://www.metagenics.com.au/shop/index.cfm?fuseaction=item&id=602 , this is personally what i recommend. there are a couple of reasons.

if you just take cod liver oil, its easy to overdose on vitamin A. i find the amount of vitA is a limit on the amount of oil you can take and also find too much vitA makes me flushed and hyper and it feels unpleasant. look up vitA overdose, it is certainly detrimental.

The ultra dha product above is mostly just dha, so you dont have to worry about overdosing on vitA, and it allows you to get an effective dose with only a few ml's, it turns out that dha is only a few percentage as a constituent of most fish oils, so you would need to take 50ml or so of most fish oil to actually get an effective dose of dha(depending on your needs/reasons for supplementing (are you taking it for cardovascular=eps, neuro=dha))

Re:Hmmmm (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259040)

Bull shit.

Shut the hell up.

There is nothing to back what you are saying, and that book, while mildly entertaining, is full of crap.

People like you are HURTING people.

Ftwad.

Re:Hmmmm (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259266)

lol someone got hit in the head with the dumb stick today and spewed out his wrath on Slashdot. Since when did you go from writing logical, reasonable posts to writing ad hominem crap? There are tons of studies that show that exercise is good for you, and that eating a healthy diet is good for you, and that sleeping well is good for you. Stop being lazy and asking for evidence when you can find it so easily yourself.

Re:Hmmmm (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259700)

Heck, while I'm at it, I found some studies for you. Here's a reference to a study [washingtonpost.com] that found exercise even keeps your telomeres in your cells longer. This one at Stanford that lasted 20 years [stanford.edu] found that running specifically helps keep you healthy, they said, "Elderly runners have fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life and are half as likely as aging nonrunners to die early deaths."

And then there's this one [medicalnewstoday.com], a study of over 100,000 people that basically found the more you run each week, the less likely you are to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, although the study author thinks (for whatever it's worth) that a similar effect would be found for swimming or cycling or any other aerobic exercise.

So yeah, there's tons to back up what I said. You may disagree with those studies, and no science is perfect, but there's a good bunch of evidence.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260954)

There's no doubt that the easiest way to be healthy is to stay healthy, they're running because they're in good shape and they're in good shape because they run. Obviously runners are more healthy than the general population because you've excluded everyone with hip/knee/foot injuries, heart conditions, lung conditions and whatnot that says they can't, shouldn't be or will have trouble running.

Many people choose the same circle in reverse, they're not exercising because they're in bad shape and they're in bad shape because they don't exercise. Using modern technology you can live almost without doing any manual labor without huge health problems, as long as you aren't also trying to eat yourself to death or whatever. I've tried both and being in good shape is better but it's an easy slip and a heavy climb.

Exercising when you're in bad shape is quite frankly mostly annoying and not very healthy beyond enabling you to exercise more. You're just not in the shape where you can keep up a decent calorie burn long enough for it to matter, your limbs are weak and more prone to injury under excessive weight. All you get in the beginning are aches and pains as you build muscles and joints to get real exercise done.

I took me about a month of two to three heavy sessions per week (for my shape) and light exercise every day before it started to make any real impact. Then I suddenly passed some kind of peak where the kilos started flowing off, the exercise got easier and easier to do and it was all steady sailing. But you have to be willing to do a real program and pass that peak, if I had given up after two weeks this would have been nothing but frustration and bad memories. So if you're committed to making a change in your life go for it but it's like "Aw alright, I'll take ONE exercise round and decide afterwards" then with 99% probability they will fail.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260612)

Y'know, I'm really trying to see where you are coming from on your post (that's apparently already been modded as flamebait), but I don't know if I'm seeing it from your point of view.

Are you actually suggesting that recommending eating vegetables, not depriving oneself of sleep, and regular exercise is actually pushing some sort of agenda that not only does not benefit the individual but is actually harmful? If so, please cite sources... this could be interesting.

If it's not that, I'm at a loss... your remarks actually seem rather non sequitur outside of the above interpretation.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259052)

Or you can take amphetamines.

Simplistic solutions and inappropriate blame (0, Troll)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259496)

If you're that young and already having memory problems (assuming you don't have a brain tumor or something), it's lifestyle related. Get out and exercise, eat well, there's probably some nutrient you're missing. Eat lot's of broccoli. Sleep enough. Don't under-estimate the brain wasting effects of alcohol or cocaine. I don't know you so I can't say exactly what your personal problem is.

Fuck me! Not all human beings are the same and what's true for you might not necessarily be true for the parent. Suggesting that he eat some broccoli, and insinuating that he's got drug and alcohol problems is borderline criminal. He may have a medical condition like early onset Alzheimers. Correct thing to do if he's not just being melodramatic is to see on or more doctors.

A lot of people, for example, don't eat enough vegetables. They'll eat a salad once a week or an apple every few days or something and hope that's good enough. It's not. You may not notice the effects right away, but over time they will add up as your body uses up its stored nutrients.

A lot of people who have treated their bodies like SHIT have been sharp as a tack into their 70s and 80s. This idea that if someone has to be doing something wrong in order to have a medical issue belongs in the dark ages. Of course treating your body well will make the most of your situation, but that doesn't mean it'll work miracles.

By the way try getting a full night's sleep, eating properly and excercising when you have a couple of kids under 2. a sick partner and a job that ties up 12 hours of your day 5 or 6 days a week. Or if you have a sleep disorder. Try excercising if you're overweight and have some kind of physical injury. The trouble with unhealthy is that a couple of issues can then lead to a spiral. This idea that someone can click their fingers and excercise some will power to get healthy is a luxurious dellusion only healthy people with too much spare time can afford. Not everyone is fresh out of college with no kids and a cushy job.

Re:Simplistic solutions and inappropriate blame (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259604)

Fuck me!

I'd rather not.

He may have a medical condition like early onset Alzheimers.

Indeed, I specifically excluded people in that type of category.

Try excercising if you're overweight and have some kind of physical injury. The trouble with unhealthy is that a couple of issues can then lead to a spiral. This idea that someone can click their fingers and excercise some will power to get healthy is a luxurious dellusion only healthy people with too much spare time can afford.

I didn't say it was easy, but if they can't find a way to exercise and lose weight, they are going to suffer the consequences. I mean, this is nature: nature doesn't care if it's hard. Hopefully for them they will be one of the lucky people who doesn't see any negative health effects even though they are overweight and treat their body badly. But it's not likely.

Incidentally, regarding the people who treat their bodies badly and still end up healthy, they usually have something else going on that balances it out. Like maybe they eat bacon every day, but they also eat spinach and get lots of exercise. Or maybe they party all night, but then balance it out by sleeping until the afternoon. It's rare to find people who truly abuse their bodies and don't end up paying for it.

Re:Simplistic solutions and inappropriate blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32260076)

Or maybe they party all night, but then balance it out by sleeping until the afternoon. It's rare to find people who truly abuse their bodies and don't end up paying for it.

Failing to eat three servings per day of broccoli is not truly abusing your body. Truly abusing your body requires concerted effort. Body is exceptionally good at extracting its needs from whatever you give it - you can make it easier or harder, but it's difficult to hurt yourself with improper nutrients as long as you get enough calories. Eat Healthy is timeless advice, but the definition of healthy has been subject to scientific fads with about a 20 year cycle. "Healthy breakfast" in the 50s was 2-3 eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee, toast with butter and a four ounce shot of orange juice. "Healthy lunch" has been a half pound of salt pork and unleavened bread washed down with a quart of beer. I've no idea what "Healthy food" will be in 20 more years, but I'll be surprised if it's organically grown broccoli and bonito.

Re:Simplistic solutions and inappropriate blame (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260616)

Fuck me!

I'd rather not.

Figure of speech. I'd rather you didn't either.

He may have a medical condition like early onset Alzheimers.

Indeed, I specifically excluded people in that type of category.

No you didn't. Even so it's the vast majority of people in that category. How many 40 year olds do you know that don't have any medical conditions at all?

Try excercising if you're overweight and have some kind of physical injury. The trouble with unhealthy is that a couple of issues can then lead to a spiral. This idea that someone can click their fingers and excercise some will power to get healthy is a luxurious dellusion only healthy people with too much spare time can afford.

I didn't say it was easy, but if they can't find a way to exercise and lose weight, they are going to suffer the consequences. I mean, this is nature: nature doesn't care if it's hard. Hopefully for them they will be one of the lucky people who doesn't see any negative health effects even though they are overweight and treat their body badly. But it's not likely.

Not easy? Try not possible for many. Yes you suffer the consequences but requiring that some people make a superhuman effort to meet your standards is ridiculous.

Incidentally, regarding the people who treat their bodies badly and still end up healthy, they usually have something else going on that balances it out. Like maybe they eat bacon every day, but they also eat spinach and get lots of exercise. Or maybe they party all night, but then balance it out by sleeping until the afternoon. It's rare to find people who truly abuse their bodies and don't end up paying for it.

What a complete load of BS. How many Hollywood drug addled boze ridden idiots only suffer the medical consequences of their stupidity when they accidentally overdose and end up "tragically" dead? I don't think a lot of those kinds of people do much to balance it out. Your belief in this fair kind of world where you're to blame if you have issues is well and truly a fantasy.

Re:Simplistic solutions and inappropriate blame (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260756)

How many Hollywood drug addled boze ridden idiots only suffer the medical consequences of their stupidity when they accidentally overdose and end up "tragically" dead? I don't think a lot of those kinds of people do much to balance it out.

Very clearly they don't balance it out. That's why they end up dead.

Try not possible for many. Yes you suffer the consequences but requiring that some people make a superhuman effort to meet your standards is ridiculous.

OK, it sucks for those people that it's not possible for. But it's not like they are going to escape the consequences of being inactive just because they are stuck in the wheelchair. Obviously if someone is only limited because they have low willpower, the thing they need to work on is getting more willpower.

Re:Simplistic solutions and inappropriate blame (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32262460)

OK, it sucks for those people that it's not possible for. But it's not like they are going to escape the consequences of being inactive just because they are stuck in the wheelchair. Obviously if someone is only limited because they have low willpower, the thing they need to work on is getting more willpower.

Interesting that you should mention people in wheelchairs. Not too many of them actually have weight issues. Hauling your weight around in one of those things probably does burn energy, but still they can't do anything you'd call excercise. Not too many of them have to look after children and work 12+ hour days either. Stil if a sedentary lifestyle was all that it took you'd expect them to almost all be fat and dead at 30.

There are very real differences in makeup, metabolism, apetite and circumstance between people. Insisting that you're right to just blame it on a weak will is indefensible. You just don't get how lucky you are.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259502)

Everything sounds great, except the bit about distance running. Running isn't really good for your body; it's really hard on your joints, especially if you run on concrete or asphalt (which just about everything in a metro area is covered with these days).

I recommend cycling instead. It's better exercise, uses at least as many calories (as long as you don't ride lazily), and doesn't cause joint injuries. It's also a lot better if you're flat-footed like me. It also gets you around a whole lot faster, and if you're really lucky in where you live and work, you might be able to use it for commuting instead of driving, so you can get your exercise as part of going to and from work.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

mmarlett (520340) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260544)

After a few years of running moderate distances, I ran a marathon in 2001. That day, after running 26 miles, I drank for 12 hours. Then I ate a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. I refer to it as my triathlon. I was fine the next day and for a few weeks, then my knees started really complaining about the running addiction. My knees were fine with the beer and donuts.

I've slept four to six hours a night for nearly 20 years now. I drink three to six beers a day, but rarely at a rate greater than one per hour. I have two donuts every other day for breakfast. I got about 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was running 60 miles a week. I could do without it.

So, two years ago, I picked up cycling. After a year of riding my bike to work every day (15 miles round trip, morning donut stop included), I'd lost about 15 pounds. Then I got run over by a little old lady who ran a red light. She had a senior moment and didn't see the light, the half-dozen other stopped cars or the fully lit and reflective cyclist.

So, yeah yeah yeah ... take care of your body. Whatever. Shit happens.

I've never had any unique or interesting memory problems. I beat the 11-year-old neighbor kid on the Wii Fit stuff all the time; my Wii Fit age is usually almost half my actual age (37). In some ways, I remember much more than I used to. I have a little more trouble learning new things, but I learn them better and with more confidence. Maybe I'm just a better listener.

Are you speaking from experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259580)

Because I'm almost 50 and have healthier eating, exercising, and sleeping habits than probably 90% of the geeks on /. and I can tell you that I definitely notice a loss of memory and brain function from when I was in my 30's.

Being healthy might minimize the effects, but it definitely does not prevent it from happening entirely.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259672)

You could say that its lifestyle related - but having sleep apnoea doesn't help.

I eat, on average, 3 pieces of fruit a day (not sure if that is insufficient or not). Normally an apple, banana or two and a mandarin.

Broccoli? Not so much... Vegies? Yeah, normally when I have tea (evening meal).

Exercise? Two-hour BJJ sessions twice a week and also Futsal once a week (45 min fast paced game).

Sleep? Never enough.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259732)

The catch-phrase slogan is five-a-day for fruits and veggies, so if you make sure to get some vegetables with your evening meal you're probably "ok".

We just joined a CSA (community supported agriculture). While I like the idea of eating food produced locally, organically, in season, I really like the concept of being given large batches of food and having to cook with it. In one session it's broken us out of our usual dining ruts; over the past week we've had several vegetables I'd never eaten before...

First ever beet, in a beet and carrot slaw (shredded beets and carrots, lemon zest and juice, a bit of honey, a few drops hot sauce, served raw).

First ever kohlrabi (didn't even know how to cut it or what part was edible at first, but diced it and some potato, tossed in olive oil, added a bit of pepper, and baked at 450 for half an hour, stirring occasionally).

Now I hope we don't get those every week for the next year, but in a few weeks they'll be gone and something new will be unexpectedly thrust upon me. Interesting concept but it's working so far.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259976)

Yeah, that pretty much sucks. I have no clue what to do with sleep Apnea, maybe get some breathe right strips lol? or maybe sleep on your side instead of your back? That might help.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259830)

You sound like my mom ... you're right, mind you, but you still sound like my mom.

As a chronic insomniac I can attest to the damage caused by the lack of sleep. I used to be nice, logical, and even had good grammar and spelling. Now, not so much .. if at all.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260214)

Why is it always vegetables and pain? I don't know if you'll live longer eating broccoli and distance running, but it'll sure feel longer. Especially if you really do improve your memory...

Re:Hmmmm (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260258)

Here's a quote I remember when I exercise: "If exercise feels like work, you're doing it wrong." If eating broccoli and distance running is miserable for you, then you should change something up a bit.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32261460)

Nice hippie!

*pats phantomfive on the head*

Now, go have a nice fruit salad and a joint, mmmkay?

No joke... (2, Interesting)

mollog (841386) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258856)

I'm hoping they can bring this to the public sooner rather than later. It's not funny when you can't remember stuff the way you used to, it's a little scary. I accept that it's part of getting older, but I don't accept it happily.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259466)

we did. Don't you remember?

This research is phenomal! (5, Informative)

JDSalinger (911918) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258742)

My grandmother slowly died of Alzheimer's and it could not have been a sadder thing to witness. Bias fully admitted, I can't help but say... Alzheimer's is the 7th leading cause of death and it afflicts 19% of people aged 75-84 and over 40% of people over 84. If we care about our elders and we care about the shoes we will one day fill, we should all help raise awareness and put our spare money and time to good use.

The toll of Alzheimer's on America is estimated at about $100 billion per year. If only we could convince Congress of the simple truth, that this sort of basic research will completely pay for itself in the long run and do wonders for humanity. Unfortunately, we can't depend on someone else to pay for this knowledge and progress. We must all pitch in what we can and help keep this sort of research as well funded as possible.

www.alz.org is a great organization if you have money to donate. Or you can easily start a "Memory Walk" team to go out for a charity walk to raise money and awareness. Plus, can't we all use a good excuse to enjoy a nice day in the sun and have fun with friends and family?

Re:This research is phenomal! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32258772)

Just shoot her

Your missing the benefits (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258812)

You can hide your own Easter eggs, and you can laugh at the same joke every day! Of course they have problems too... like they forget to take their meds, and no one remembers to show up for the support group meetings.

Re:You're missing the benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259242)

You make new friends every day, you're constantly seeing a lot of really great movies for the first time, and in lucid moments, you plan your escape because "things aren't as bad as the doctors are making them out to be"...

Re:This research is phenomal! (4, Interesting)

tsotha (720379) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258878)

It's not clear to me a treatment for normal cognitive decline would necessarily be effective for Alzheimer's.

Article is Also Phenomenal (5, Insightful)

Iskender (1040286) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259010)

I'd just like to point out that this is a good article:
1. It's news for nerds.
2. It goes into some technical detail (molecules named)
3. It mentions both possible advantages and disadvantages of the approach.
4. It has both reasonable amounts of text and a decent video. (read:content)

Really, this is probably the kind of article people refer to when they're whining about other ones.

I'd love some feedback from the people who go on about kdawson only posting crap, too. Is this crap? Or maybe you prefer to cherry-pick the bad articles instead to hate on the hated editor of the month/year?

Re:Article is Also Phenomenal (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259370)

I'd love some feedback from the people who go on about kdawson only posting crap, too. Is this crap? Or maybe you prefer to cherry-pick the bad articles instead to hate on the hated editor of the month/year?

Clearly they have Alzheimer's :D.

Re:Article is Also Phenomenal (2, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259746)

I'll link to your post here next time I see someone bitching about kdawson.

Now, I need to go read the article you've successfully hyped..

Re:Article is Also Phenomenal (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260496)

Hey, I get laid once out of every 12,000 tries too ... no one is going to sit around pointing at me like I'm a stud for it. Its just what happens when you do something over and over again, eventually the pattern breaks just out of randomness.

I have excellent karma, not because I'm great at posting comments but because most people don't vote down, so the fact that I regularly run into the max posts per day limit means my karma goes up because one out of a hundred is thought to be good, which means I get a lot of good posts and the bad ones are ignored. Anyone posting as often as I do probably has good karma as well unless they really go out of their way to be a dick.

kdawson is still a douche, even if once in a blue moon he approves something that actually is not dumber than a box of rocks.

If he wouldn't have approved it, someone else would have. You're argument for him is pathetic.

Re:This research is phenomal! (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259070)

I don't fully agree with the opinion I'm about to present, but one of your statements just seems wrong.

How would this research pay for itself in the long run? These are generally older people that are afflicted with the disease. The types of people that are either done with their working careers or nearly so, and contribute little or nothing to the tax base. In fact, they either are drawing or are soon to draw on the social programs like Social Security and Medicare. By reducing the number of geriatric deaths, we increase the economic burden of these programs, thereby making us pay even more for the research. Wouldn't it make more economic sense to require the elderly to go down to an office in order to collect their Social Security and Medicare benefits, and if they forget to do so, pocket the change? (No, they could not collect multiple times.)

Now, I in no way would really want to back the stance of the last question, nor want to avoid researching a cure. I just think either I'm missing something, or your statement is wrong.

Re:This research is phenomal! (1)

hackerman (1649305) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259166)

What he means is that investing a (relatively) small amount on money now could mean less spending in the future.

Re:This research is phenomal! (1)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259278)

I'd imagine it costs a whole lot more to keep an aged Alzheimer's patient alive (and relatively happy) that it costs to pay a retired individual who is capable of caring for themselves to do just that. And besides, who cares about expenses in this regard? Yes, I know, everyone cares about money, but the few bucks I'll get once I retire will absolutely pale in comparison to the amount of money I have payed due to all sorts of taxes (I live in Norway, where I pay ~36% income tax, 24% tax on anything I buy, ~80% tax on tobacco, alcohol and fossil fuels, etc.).

Re:This research is phenomal! (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32261806)

But the odds are they will eventually get something else expensive before dying.

If it's all about economics we'd be happy to let the smokers smoke. After all in countries like the UK they pay more in tobacco tax than they cost the health system every year. So basically smokers are subsidizing the nonsmokers.

Fact is, eventually you are going to die. Once you're no longer producing $$$ for the country you're starting to cost it $$$.

Sure it could be your own money, but most people if they retired would eventually run out of money - unless they're the rich people who collect rents from everyone (but they start looking like the **AA bunch - not contributing much just collecting rent). Lastly not everyone can be rich enough to collect rent from everyone :).

Lastly no, it can't just be about economics. Good economics and high productivity must not be goals in themselves, they can help with providing a better life for most. But we have to be realistic about it, and not be ignorant about it. The economics are worse if we had old retired people living longer and healthier. Now if we had older working people living longer and healthier, then the economics are better. If the young bunch are fine with paying for the former case (because they think it's civilized and good) then that's great. But if instead the older people start making up the majority and vote so that the younger ones pay against their will, then more of the younger ones might leave and eventually things will go bad.

Re:This research is phenomal! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259390)

If you can prevent Alzheimer's and other age related decay these folks can keep working.

Re:This research is phenomal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259588)

Get rid of Social Security and Medicare..

Re:This research is phenomal! (2, Interesting)

blue trane (110704) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259684)

The point of civilization is knowledge. Knowledge allows us to predict and adapt to sudden catastrophic environmental change, hence it improves our survival fitness. Economics is just a way to increase knowledge.

If economics is a science, how well does the current model predict economic downturns, or Japan's having a 200% debt-to-gdp ratio but no inflation, low unemployment, and a strong currency?

The current model of economics appears to include an axiom: the creation of money should be in private hands. Can we challenge this axiom, given examples such as Japan, or our own history (Lincoln printing greenbacks, govt making up over 40% of GDP during WWII, inflation not much of a concern during Reagan's run-up of the debt, etc.)? Is it not suspicious that the main proponents of the current economics are the beneficiaries of a system where banks have a monopoly on money creation? Why can't the people's elected representatives create money too?

What I'd like to know, is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32258748)

can I have an injection of that please? :P

Oh great (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258768)

I was looking forward to an old age filled with pleasant memories of my many moon landings, that time I helped a young Jewish girl hide from the Spaniards, my service in the Gulf of Afgiraq, and my sexual exploits with Morgan Fairchild. And now you're going to take that away from me?

Re:Oh great (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258868)

Two old men were out walking with their wives. The first man says to the other man, "I had a great dinner last night at... what was that place? Uh, what's the name of that red flower?" The second man suggests, "Rose?" The first goes on, "That's it." He then calls over to his wife, "Hey, Rose! What's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?"

Declarative memory in general declines, but... (4, Informative)

raving griff (1157645) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258770)

While declarative memory does decline as one ages, only recall memory is affected while the ability to recognize does not significantly decline.

That is, people over 40 tend to decline in scores on fill-in-the-blank tests without a word bank (that require the taker to recall a specific answer) while staying about the same on multiple choice tests, where the answer must be recognized.

I've said this before... (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258786)

but I'll say it again: never before in our history has there been such a good time as now to be a mouse!

Re:I've said this before... (0)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258810)

but I'll say it again: never before in our history has there been such a good time as now to be a mouse!

Except that being a mouse has been proven to cause cancer in laboratory mice.

Re:I've said this before... (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258938)

No, scientists have been scientifically proven to cause cancer in laboratory mice.

Re:I've said this before... (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259262)

Correlation != Causation. You might as well say "Injecting mice with carcinogens is scientifically proven to cause cancer". As if!

acidosis to fungal imbalance, CancerIsFungus.Com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32262356)

A friend of mine is a veterinarian, and he says that animals have been getting the same health complications as humans all since feeding the animals processed mashed corn rather than graze them naturally on herbs.

Makes you wonder about all the biproducts passing on ingredients, like Silicon Dioxide and food colorings.

42 (4, Interesting)

Jhon (241832) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258816)

That's my age. I do notice tt takes just a wee bit more effort to cram more stuff in my head than it used to. Other than that, I still enjoy my ability to recall ridicules bits of obscure minutia that when viewed in total aren't enough to get me a good job, but are just enough to be annoying.

Seriously, though. My ability to commit stuff to memory and recall it *IS* one of my marketable skills. And anything that can help prolong the decline is welcome news.

Re:42 (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258872)

One of my concerns is that the things I'll remember into my twilight years are all the different passphrases I have to use at work. I still remember passwords I created in 1995.

remembering passwords/phases from '85 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259180)

Actually, it's pretty easy for me to remember, I just used the same passwords/phrases/pin-numbers since 1985...
Posting anon for obvious reasons ;^)

Re:42 (2, Funny)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258886)

That's my age. I do notice it takes just a wee bit more effort to cram more stuff in my head than it used to. Other than that, I still enjoy my ability to recall ridiculous bits of obscure minutia that when viewed in total aren't enough to get me a good job, but are just enough to be annoying.

Seriously, though. My ability to commit stuff to memory and recall it *IS* one of my marketable skills. And anything that can help postpone the decline is welcome news.

Fixed that for you. Lemme guess... grammar and spelling aren't something you like committing to memory?

Re:42 (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258914)

I would say "way to be a jerk to the guy", but I figure he won't remember you doing it in 10 minutes anyway. ;-P

Re:42 (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260514)

Fail, "postpone the decline" is not a correction of "prolong the decline".

If you previously lost some memory from 40 to 70 but with treatment lose the same memory from 40 to 90 you have prolonged the decline by 20 years. If you instead lose it from 60 to 90 you have postponed the decline by 20 years. In total given all the effects of aging, there will probably be some form of decline so the grandparent is likely more right than you too. Damn, I love zinging a grammar and spelling Nazi.

Re:42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32260066)

I think I just found the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.

coorelation != causation (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32258838)

Just because you injected enzymes into the rats, doesn't mean that the enzymes caused the increased memory effect

ok, ok, I'm joking. At least we got the stupid "coorelation != causation" comment out of the way early on.

Re:coorelation != causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259114)

coorelation != causation

You may be right, depending on what coorelation means to you (is this a malamanteau [deleted wikipedia citation] cuckoo and correlation/relation?). Hey even Firefox underlined that word!

Re:coorelation != causation (2, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259388)

Actually it's co-orelation. Orelation is the raw material from which irony is made. That is, it's something which isn't quite irony, but out of which one could make irony. Co-orelation is when several people orelate together. :-)

Illegal alternative (2, Informative)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258860)

Re:Illegal alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32258920)

Legal Alternative [sciencedaily.com], you just have to have the guts to drink fish medicine.

memory? learning? (2, Funny)

rcamans (252182) | more than 3 years ago | (#32258908)

Oh, now I know what switch instantly gets flipped to off when you first read slashdot...
That explains a lot...

Do I really want to be aware of everything? (1)

LivinInSanDiego (1814534) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259014)

Seriously, do we really want to be fully aware of our suffering as we age and our mortality? Seems nature was doing us a favor by making us oblivious to our own demise.

Re:Do I really want to be aware of everything? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259766)

So said someone who hasn't seen both options in person.

Do I want to live my last twenty years with diving bell syndrome? No. But I'd rather live them bad eyesight and an inability to walk than live them knowing my mental performance was degraded.

Re:Do I really want to be aware of everything? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259774)

But I'd rather live them bad eyesight and an inability to walk than live them knowing my mental performance was degraded.

Living them with the ability to words out of sentences, though, I'm perfectly comfortable with.

I'm in my late 40s... (3, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259030)

and while I do notice it takes a bit more effort to learn something new, once I do I can retain it without problems, provided I use the knowledge.

Languages have always interested me (it's what I do for a living these days), and every couple years I try to learn the basics of another language. I find that as long as I exercise the newly learned skill/material, I'm OK (such as reading newspapers in the other language, listening to broadcasts in that language, and finally speaking the language whenever I get the chance. I would imagine I'm using a different part of the brain for these activities, though.

I'm certainly no expert, nor do I claim to know anything of how the mind works for that matter, but I can't help but think that actually using skills learned later in life helps.

Re:I'm in my late 40s... (1)

LivinInSanDiego (1814534) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259048)

I'm in my late 30's and once I had kids my memory was shot. I personally think kids kill cells faster than age could ever do.

Re:I'm in my late 40s... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32261094)

You should hang out at a Youth Hostel. You'd find fun people whom speak many tounges.
Most hostels don't mind locals visiting/volunteering at the Hostel. The small Hostels could use your talent too.

And the enzyme is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259058)

By injecting an enzyme, the team 'flipped' the switch to its on position for older mice, giving them the memory and learning performance they'd enjoyed when they were young.

The most important information is missing.

Some things are best left forgotten. (2, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259084)

Some things are best left forgotten.

Unless they can do this selectively, I'll pass. One gets to a certain age...well, the baggage seems to fade away yet the really good stuff remains clear.

I think this is a good thing, and in my opinion quite possibly a natural function of the human mind--a defense mechanism, perhaps.

Re:Some things are best left forgotten. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259534)

So all we need is technology which can selectively erase memories, like in the movie "Paycheck". Combined with this new memory enhancer, older people can enjoy youthful memories without all the painful ones!

Re:Some things are best left forgotten. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32260212)

We should look forward to the day we get cyborg technology in our everyday lives. Backup your good memories to a server farm, and just delete the bad ones :)

Re:Some things are best left forgotten. (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 3 years ago | (#32261604)

(Disclaimer: I'm not a conspiracy theorist nut.)

Well of course, that is what you want me to think!

*flees down the corridor twitching at his tin foil suit with matching cumberbund*

Silly humans (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259228)

It reminds me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the mice.
If we develop a method to create super intelligence and test it on mice first, then they will recognise that fact and play dumb.

I need this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32259304)

Maybe I can recall where I lost my keys 20 years ago.

Poor animals that went before these...

This can only have positive results. (4, Interesting)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259308)

Nov 21 - I did a dumb thing today I forgot I wasnt in Miss Kinnians class at the adult center any more like I use to be. I went in and sat down in my old seat in the back of the room and she lookd at me funny and she said Charlie where have you been. So I said hello Miss Kinnian Im redy for my lessen today only I lossed the book we was using.

Re:This can only have positive results. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32260408)

For people who might be curious, I believe this is from the marvelous book Flowers For Algernon.

Lie A Lot (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 3 years ago | (#32259482)

Lying a lot helps a lot. Try, say, cheating on your S.O. with a disastrous divorce as a consequence and just keep track of all the particulars of the lies you tell. It's as much or more conditioning and impetus as it is genes.

Great (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32260824)

It wasn't like the fucking rodents weren't gaining the upper hand again already. Now were going to make them smarter. They damn near took over 700 years ago with the plague thing, but we beat them back. Now were going to help them remember more? Shit, it'll be like dealing with the Rat Things in Starman's Son; furry vermin with spears and the racial memory of millions of rat traps and kids with .22s.

Is this a really a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32261226)

There are some aspects of my youth that I care not to remember...

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