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ItAintEasyBeinCheesy
it's 4th of July in my asshole
(05-11-2012, 03:55 AM)
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Molecule may be key to halting early dementia

The discovery of a molecule that appears to regulate memory and learning in the brain could pave the way for treatments of early dementia, scientists at the University of Queensland’s Brain Institute (QBI) said.

The breakthrough came after scientists at the institute found exercise by mice prompted the molecule fractalkine to activate neural precursor cells in the hippocampus – the brain structure responsible for specific types of learning and memory.

“While we already knew that exercise increases the production of new nerve cells in the hippocampus in young mice and even aged mice, this study found that it is the molecule fractalkine that appears to be specifically mediating this effect,” said Perry Bartlett, a Professor of Neuroscience and the Director of QBI.

The discovery is published in The Journal of Neuroscience today.

“Ageing slows the production of new nerve cells, reducing the brain’s ability to form new memories,” said Jana Vokovic, who performed the work in the laboratory of Professor Bartlett.

“But our research shows for the first time that the brain cells usually responsible for mediating immunity, microglia, have an inhibitory effect on memory during ageing.”

The team set out to see if fractalkine could reverse this process by activating dormant neural precursors and helping to produce neurons.

“What we saw was quite remarkable,” Dr Vukovic said. “There was a significant increase in the number of activated neural precursors which gives us reason to believe fractalkine is important for initiating the first step in the production process that gives rise to new neurons – the activation of the neural precursor cells.”


“Once the cells are activated they can respond to signals that instruct them to divide and produce new cells, and as such develop new memories and learning. This means that fractalkine may indeed present a potential pathway for development of future therapies,” she said.

The discovery was exciting because it found that older animals suffering cognitive decline showed much lower levels of fractalkine, she said.

By mimicking the production of fractalkine, scientists might be able to delay or repair the onset of dementia in elderly patients by creating new neuron cells without the need for exercise.

Until relatively recently, it was thought the adult brain was incapable of generating new neurons, Dr Vukovic said.

“But work from Professor Bartlett’s laboratory over the past 20 years has demonstrated that the brains of adult animals, including humans, retain the ability to make new nerve cells,” she said.

“The challenge is to find out how to stimulate this production in the aged animal and human where production has slowed.”

http://theconversation.edu.au/molecu...-dementia-6947

Stupid title but yeah. Watched this on the news last night and though it was pretty interesting.

Scientist's have been testing on mice. There's a rotating floor with a portion electrified. The young mice are able to avoid the electrified section going of landmarks in the room. The older mice keep getting shocked. Scientists introduced an exercise wheel into the older mice's enclosures and after exercise they performed better in the tests.

TL;DR
Exercise promotes fractalkine production.
Fractalkine promotes new cells.
May be possible to one day have a mass market pill or something that introduces fractalkine to the brain to slow dementia or promote growth/recovery.

In the meantime do some exercise.
Last edited by ItAintEasyBeinCheesy; 05-11-2012 at 04:07 AM.
Bombadil
Banned
(05-11-2012, 04:05 AM)
Good news. More tests needed. I just saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes yesterday for the first time and the subject matter is somewhat related. These tests are funded by profit-seeking entities, right? That bugs me.
Haly
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
(05-11-2012, 04:19 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bombadil

These tests are funded by profit-seeking entities, right? That bugs me.

It's regrettable but there is no better alternative. The best way to get funding for something is to find some way of selling it.

Better this be made for the wrong reasons than not made at all in order to maintain principle.
Dhx
Member
(05-11-2012, 04:27 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bombadil

These tests are funded by profit-seeking entities, right? That bugs me.

Honest question: You'd prefer all research to be publicly funded?
Bombadil
Banned
(05-11-2012, 04:49 AM)

Originally Posted by DarkhawkX

Honest question: You'd prefer all research to be publicly funded?

Is this one of those questions which when I answer yes, you're going to make some grandiose conclusion about me, label me an ignorant person, and proceed to explain why capitalism is the best system we could have conceived of under the current circumstances?

I'll still risk it. Yes. I'd rather my tax dollars, and yours, go to funding medical research that may or may not pan out, than having billions of those tax dollars going to funding weapons research that is detrimental to humanity whether or not it does pan out.
Loofy
Member
(05-11-2012, 04:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bombadil

These tests are funded by profit-seeking entities, right? That bugs me.

Daily pill for $20k here we come.
that1dude24
Member
(05-11-2012, 04:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by DarkhawkX

Honest question: You'd prefer all research to be publicly funded?

that's a question? i think the benefits should be clear.
bjb
Banned
(05-11-2012, 04:58 AM)
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This is excellent news. Granted it's probably at least 10-15 years before anything close to this would be available (outside of controlled testing).
xbhaskarx
(05-11-2012, 05:01 AM)
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So how long before college kids start abusing this?
Dhx
Member
(05-11-2012, 05:06 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bombadil

Is this one of those questions which when I answer yes, you're going to make some grandiose conclusion about me, label me an ignorant person, and proceed to explain why capitalism is the best system we could have conceived of under the current circumstances?

No, it was an honest question as the qualifier was all. Interest rant, though. Personally, I'm all for public funding, but I'm also strongly in favor of incentivised private funding. Both are necessary for maximum creative output.

I'll still risk it. Yes. I'd rather my tax dollars, and yours, go to funding medical research that may or may not pan out, than having billions of those tax dollars going to funding weapons research that is detrimental to humanity whether or not it does pan out.

That's an interesting aside, but one does not necessarily preclude the other. I appreciate the effort, but the box you've created for me doesn't exactly fit.

Originally Posted by that1dude24

that's a question? i think the benefits should be clear.

Yes, I honestly question that all funding should be public. What are these clear, tangible benefits?
bishoptl
(05-11-2012, 05:07 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bombadil

Is this one of those questions which when I answer yes, you're going to make some grandiose conclusion about me, label me an ignorant person, and proceed to explain why capitalism is the best system we could have conceived of under the current circumstances?

Bombadil
Banned
(05-11-2012, 05:09 AM)

Originally Posted by DarkhawkX

No, it was an honest question as the qualifier was all. Interest rant, though. Personally, I'm all for public funding, but I'm also strongly in favor of incentivised private funding. Both are necessary for maximum creative output.



That's an interesting aside, but one does not necessarily preclude the other. I appreciate the effort, but the box you've created for me doesn't exactly fit.

Can you support your claim that "incentivised" private funding is necessary for maximum creative output?

so instead you make a grandiose conclusion about him premptively?

Did I? I was just saving him the trouble of making those statements in case that was the direction he was headed. Wasn't even implying that he would make those statements.

Yes, I honestly question that all funding should be public. What are these clear, tangible benefits?

When you mean public funding, you mean money through taxes rather than money that an individual can privately allocate to a cause, right?

Well, the way I see it, money is a lot like blood, and the country - nay, the world - is a lot like a body of cells. We're the cells. We each serve different functions and we require nutrients to replenish us. Some of those nutrients consists of food, others of entertainment, others of resources for transport. Blood needs to circulate smoothly throughout the body in order for it to function well. When it doesn't, the person has a problem. It could be a clot. A clot is what occurs when something, usually a collection of platelets, collects in a particular area of a vein or blood vessel and prevents healthy circulation of blood through the body.

What governs the circulation of blood in the human body? It's the heart, right? It's centralized. It receives blood and it pumps it back out.

I consider the government to be our heart. It is a collection of people just like us, but it functions to ensure that everything is running smoothly - at least, that is my belief about how it should function.

In my analogy, which group of people do you think constitute the blood clots?
Last edited by Bombadil; 05-11-2012 at 05:22 AM.
Dhx
Member
(05-11-2012, 05:28 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bombadil

Can you support your claim that "incentivised" private funding is necessary for maximum creative output?

Likely as much or more than you can do the opposite. Without an incentivised motivation, a quantifiable portion of scientists and researchers would choose other areas to apply their brilliance. I simply posit all scientists are not altruistic.

Analogy

I cannot answer because it's a strange example that I don't find analogous. Cell function and human nature aren't exactly similar in their behaviors, and if government is a heart, it's an inherently diseased one that needs constant transplants.
Last edited by Dhx; 05-11-2012 at 05:37 AM.
Bombadil
Banned
(05-11-2012, 05:39 AM)

Originally Posted by DarkhawkX

Likely as much or more than you can do the opposite. Without an incentivised motivation, a quantifiable portion of scientists and researchers would choose other areas to apply their brilliance. I simply posit all scientists are not altruistic.

I wasn't worried about the scientists at all. I was thinking more about the businessmen who fund the experiments.

If it were up to me, any scientist holding out for more money would be replaced with someone equally qualified but less financially motivated. A person who refuses to function without a ridiculous sum of money is defective, in my opinion. Perhaps, they've been spoiled but it would take too long to re-condition them to be happy with a smaller sum of money so it's easier for them to be replaced. Of course, this is all assuming that the scientist would be funded by the government rather than by a private group. But I'm sure you would agree that a private group would haggle with said greedy scientist as well.
Dhx
Member
(05-11-2012, 05:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bombadil

I wasn't worried about the scientists at all. I was thinking more about the businessmen who fund the experiments.

If it were up to me, any scientist holding out for more money would be replaced with someone equally qualified but less financially motivated. A person who refuses to function without a ridiculous sum of money is defective, in my opinion. Perhaps, they've been spoiled but it would take too long to re-condition them to be happy with a smaller sum of money so it's easier for them to be replaced. Of course, this is all assuming that the scientist would be funded by the government rather than by a private group. But I'm sure you would agree that a private group would haggle with said greedy scientist as well.

Your strategy would result in brain drain over time. Yes, if you could always and infinitely replace scientists without penalty, you could dictate whatever terms you desired. But sadly, real world replacement is not so easy. If all scientists were predetermined to never earn beyond a comfortable wage, many brilliant minds would choose other paths with greater rewards. In my opinion, this behavior is unavoidable without millions of years of evolution and external pressure to move in that direction.

(Midnight here. Will pop in tomorrow if the thread is still active.)
Aselith
Member
(05-11-2012, 05:55 AM)
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Hopefully they aren't experimenting on apes.
Bombadil
Banned
(05-11-2012, 06:02 AM)

Originally Posted by DarkhawkX

Your strategy would result in brain drain over time. Yes, if you could always and infinitely replace scientists without penalty, you could dictate whatever terms you desired. But sadly, real world replacement is not so easy. If all scientists were predetermined to never earn beyond a comfortable wage, many brilliant minds would choose other paths with greater rewards. In my opinion, this behavior is unavoidable without millions of years of evolution and external pressure to move in that direction.

(Midnight here. Will pop in tomorrow if the thread is still active.)

Brain drains occur because bright minds leave to wherever the conditions are more suitable for them, right? So if taxes are too high in the US, the guy leaves to a country where taxes our lower, right? In that case, the best way to change the system would be to change it completely: worldwide standardization of taxing, taxes would be the same everywhere. Where would he go then?
Dhx
Member
(05-11-2012, 06:09 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bombadil

Brain drains occur because bright minds leave to wherever the conditions are more suitable for them, right? So if taxes are too high in the US, the guy leaves to a country where taxes our lower, right? In that case, the best way to change the system would be to change it completely: worldwide standardization of taxing, taxes would be the same everywhere. Where would he go then?

Law School :(

Jokes aside, another field with greater rewards.
See You Next Wednesday
Member
(05-11-2012, 07:00 AM)
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So the basic outline in the new find is to exercise more & you won't get dementia?
Bombadil
Banned
(05-11-2012, 07:07 AM)

Originally Posted by See You Next Wednesday

So the basic outline in the new find is to exercise more & you won't get dementia?

I heard this hypothesis ten years ago on ABC news. They were saying that running can help generate new brain cells.
LOCK
Member
(05-11-2012, 07:16 AM)
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After watching my great grandmother slowly succumb to dementia, this is great news. I would pay for a cure or kill myself before I lose my mind.
bjb
Banned
(05-11-2012, 05:24 PM)
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My understanding is that aerobic exercise triggers the secretion of brain growth - kinda like growth hormones.

Creating new connections to learn, but also strengthening what you already know.

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