… wait; -what the hell was I; -dammit, I JUST had it!
erm, Okay what was I just talking about? It was right before we;
Ever had that? –Then you have a lot in-common with our closest genetic relatives in the animal kingdom.
Yup. Even monkeys
get the blues start feeling that “slipped my mind” -thing as age goes on. -Mostly written-down to a decline in working-memory; -somewhere between short and long-term varieties.
Well the Yale scientists involved picked the brain’s sketchpad of working memory and high-function to test; the Pre-Frontal Cortex. And it turns out that as they age, the signaling rate in that crucial region goes down.
Why? It looks like our old friend: STRESS.
Researcher Amy Arnsten believes that the same pathway that is used to protect us in times of fight/flight, opening chemical channels that flip brains from the more contemplative PFC, to a quicker-reacting, more animal, lizard-brain type region become overtaxed, end up turning off the brain’s sketchpad too often for too long.
BUT, ALL IS NOT LOST!!!
What Amy and her friends did, was to find a drug that’s used to treat both hypertension and ADHD that conveniently blocks the ~same type of Potassium Channels and messenger proteins that the brain uses to switch from PFC to Lizard-Brain.
And VOILA! (French for “BOOM!”) the older monkeys’ PFCs started firing more like the brains of young monkeys.
There was no mention of Dosage Schedule; ie 1x or periodically.
Even Better? -There are a whole host of neurological problems we currently suffer, almost all related in some way to working-memory-loss and the PFC, including Alzheimer’s and Dementia, that could be helped by the Yale team’s research.
Roger Moore Portrait, Virgin Media
“Arc de triomphe”, by enrico nunziati
• via: TechnologyReview
• More Coverage: YaleDailyNews
• Source Study: Neuronal basis of age-related working memory decline
Leave a Reply