Flip of a Single Molecular Switch Makes an Old Mouse Brain Young

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posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 12:17 AM
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Mar. 6, 2013 — The flip of a single molecular switch helps create the mature neuronal connections that allow the brain to bridge the gap between adolescent impressionability and adult stability. Now Yale School of Medicine researchers have reversed the process, recreating a youthful brain that facilitated both learning and healing in the adult mouse.


Scientists have long known that the young and old brains are very different. Adolescent brains are more malleable or plastic, which allows them to learn languages more quickly than adults and speeds recovery from brain injuries. The comparative rigidity of the adult brain results in part from the function of a single gene that slows the rapid change in synaptic connections between neurons.




By monitoring the synapses in living mice over weeks and months, Yale researchers have identified the key genetic switch for brain maturation a study released March 6 in the journal Neuron. The Nogo Receptor 1 gene is required to suppress high levels of plasticity in the adolescent brain and create the relatively quiescent levels of plasticity in adulthood. In mice without this gene, juvenile levels of brain plasticity persist throughout adulthood. When researchers blocked the function of this gene in old mice, they reset the old brain to adolescent levels of plasticity.





"These are the molecules the brain needs for the transition from adolescence to adulthood," said Dr. Stephen Strittmatter. Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology, Professor of Neurobiology and senior author of the paper. "It suggests we can turn back the clock in the adult brain and recover from trauma the way kids recover." Rehabilitation after brain injuries like strokes requires that patients re-learn tasks such as moving a hand. Researchers found that adult mice lacking Nogo Receptor recovered from injury as quickly as adolescent mice and mastered new, complex motor tasks more quickly than adults with the receptor.


"This raises the potential that manipulating Nogo Receptor in humans might accelerate and magnify rehabilitation after brain injuries like strokes," said Feras Akbik, Yale doctoral student who is first author of the study. Researchers also showed that Nogo Receptor slows loss of memories. Mice without Nogo receptor lost stressful memories more quickly, suggesting that manipulating the receptor could help treat post-traumatic stress disorder. "We know a lot about the early development of the brain," Strittmatter said, "But we know amazingly little about what happens in the brain during late adolescence." Other Yale authors are: Sarah M. Bhagat, Pujan R. Patel and William B.J. Cafferty. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Strittmatter is scientific founder of Axerion Therapeutics, which is investigating applications of Nogo research to repair spinal cord damage.




Sciiiiiennnnceee SCIIIIENNNCEEE muahahahahha
This is fantastic news for people with brain injuries! that means people won't have to go to physio and be tortured pulled around and what not. but this. This means people can walk! fantastic!



Ahhh dooms day. Technological advancements. the degrading mental state of humanity. These are exciting times.




In about 50 years of all these genetic breakthroughs. Humanity will end up like this.
the cop. lol.
edit on 7-3-2013 by CrypticSouthpaw because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by CrypticSouthpaw
 


Dear CrypticSouthpaw,



Scientists have long known that the young and old brains are very different. Adolescent brains are more malleable or plastic, which allows them to learn languages more quickly than adults and speeds recovery from brain injuries. The comparative rigidity of the adult brain results in part from the function of a single gene that slows the rapid change in synaptic connections between neurons.


You seem to believe that it is better to have a "young" mind. What a horrible thing, to never learn from our past. When one of my children was young, they put their hand on a hot over and burnt it. I was horrified. After her hand had healed I watched her walk up to the same oven; but, it was not on and was cold. She pushed her hand against it to show it that she was not scared. She was about 3 or 4 I think. Later she came to understand that the oven was only hot when it was cooking something. I would not want her to have never learned when it was hot.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 12:46 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 


That's not the point.

The point is that the ability to learn becomes harder over time, due to the pathways in the brain being reinforced with repeated behaviours. A young brain has less strict pathways, and therefore can easily make new ones.

An older brain has built up the learned behaviours to such an extent it can sometimes be hard to break them to learn hew things.

I doubt very much anyone is proposing a youthful mind of innocence where nothing is ever learned.

If anything it would help the elderly child of yours in her 90's from putting her senile hand on the stove again after forgetting why it hurt 2 weeks ago.

At least that's my take on it. I don't like the phrasing of plastic or malleable as they were used as it implies a softer brain.. the brain doesn't harden over time.. as far as I'm aware.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 12:59 AM
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reply to post by CrypticSouthpaw
 


Very interesting from a medical standpoint.
It would be nice to see how this works with Alzheimer's if at all.

I'm wondering how 'accessible' making these changes are. Is it a regime of pills or injections taken over time, or is it as simple as one shot, one pill, and over the next week or so a subject (re)develops that youthful plasticity and sharpness for learning that once was?

I can see this also being either facilitated as an augmentation, or abused (depending results) for Masters, Graduate, Post-Grad, Post-Doc etc studies, as well as with anyone working in fields where Cognitive plasticity, learning and rapid application of learning are important.
It's almost like a 'smart' alteration, in the respect that we are in some ways 'smarter' when we're younger due our abilities to rapidly absorb and assimilate new information.

Cool.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:04 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 



i was referring to the degenerating state of society. Like social media and stuff. lol Not old people. Tho just because some people are old don't make them smarter. There are plenty of dumb people in their 30s-40s- 50s and so on.

You can find dumb and smart people in all wakes of life.
edit on 7-3-2013 by CrypticSouthpaw because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:07 AM
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well i plan on becoming a biologist as soon as i can lol. So what you mentioned above. I would hopefully be working with as well as microscopic organisms.

Now i would love to give myself a stronger memory. Would make studying new discoveries so much easier.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:18 AM
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Originally posted by winofiend
reply to post by AQuestion
 


That's not the point.

The point is that the ability to learn becomes harder over time, due to the pathways in the brain being reinforced with repeated behaviours. A young brain has less strict pathways, and therefore can easily make new ones.

An older brain has built up the learned behaviours to such an extent it can sometimes be hard to break them to learn hew things.

I doubt very much anyone is proposing a youthful mind of innocence where nothing is ever learned.

If anything it would help the elderly child of yours in her 90's from putting her senile hand on the stove again after forgetting why it hurt 2 weeks ago.

At least that's my take on it. I don't like the phrasing of plastic or malleable as they were used as it implies a softer brain.. the brain doesn't harden over time.. as far as I'm aware.


Dear winofiend,

"The point"? I didn't know there was a point. I thought there was a statement and an opinion. The statement was that we could have youthful minds. Should we only look at one aspect of what our youthful minds were? I would like to think that I have made opinions and taken modified positions as I experienced more, I am always open to re-examining base principals; but, I would hate to thing I have learned nothing and that I believe somethings more than other things. To truly investigate any concept means we accept precepts and follow the line of reasoning to it's logical conclusion. If when we arrive at the conclusion and it is patently contradictory of the assumptions then we have made a wrong turn and need to go back to begging steps. On the other hand, if we never make assumptions then we never see any thought to it's logical conclusion because we are caught in an endless trap of examining our precepts.

I like that their are Atheists and people who believe other than me, if we all take our beliefs to their logical conclusion then I would hope we would each see what they resulted in. I have faith (a life which is lived by my beliefs, actions backing up my beliefs and a willingness to be proven wrong); but, I think if you are not willing to live by your beliefs then they were just ego driven lies that people tell themselves to feel good about themselves. Ego is about risking that you may be wrong; but, must be you. Egotistical is about believing you are better than others. People that have young brains forever become egotistical, as we age we merely improve our ego, our sense of what we have learned, believe and are willing to live by.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:27 AM
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They'll (TPTB) will shelve this tech and only the super wealthy connected folks will have gene mods.

I'm 30 something and doubt I'll have access to this until i'm 60+.

They take 20 years just to do long term clinical studies.

Move along guys, nothing to see here ............."sweeps the dust under the rug........"



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:27 AM
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i'm not an athiest im a Pantheist. And if i had to warship a god it would Orion. The same one you do



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:29 AM
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Well I'm game.
Les see here...this one? Nope.
This one? Nope.
Come on. A little help here?



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:31 AM
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reply to post by CrypticSouthpaw
 


What a cool find... seems to be very useful for the treatment of neurological injuries and trauma.

My curiosity shoots right to the wondering what would happen to adding or removing the receptor to a healthy brain, free of trauma or injury. Would it diminish the strong will, knowledge, and convictions of an aged brain into a more pliable, gullible, or sensitive youthful brain? Or maybe the brain in health, under the same circumstances, would enable quicker processing of motor functions and allow superior physical output than was capable prior? I guess there are a multitude of results to choose from, young or old, that could occur if brain output could be altered in such ways.

I guess the thought that freaks me out the most, is the possibility to use the receptor control as some sort of a brain washing technique. It would be cool to have the ability to switch it on and off on the fly though... like turn on the receptor when you read a book, but off to make a speech in public. I love science!



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:41 AM
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Flip of a Single Molecular Switch Makes an Old Mouse Brain Young,


Lucky me. With my mouse brain.

2nd.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 01:46 AM
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You can make a young mind by taking vitamin K2 mixed with vitamin D3 as well - I buy mine on E-bay. But there is totally an advantage to letting one's mind age, as it brings stability - after a while, I have learned a lot, and I would rather stay in an area I know than constantly be exploring new social groups and new frontiers.

And I mean constantly - like, for example, ending up in completely different social groups (I've gone from gamers to rugged backpacking outdoors-women somehow).
edit on 7-3-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 02:46 AM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 


Haha.

What?

Religion ?

sigh



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 05:01 AM
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vitamine K is very very important and so is D3. If you took vitamine K and calcium with D3 it would help bone fractures quite a bit. So would adding a bit of boron. I believe the daily intake should be 7-10mg a day but people only get about 2 depending on their diet.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by darkbake
You can make a young mind by taking vitamin K2 mixed with vitamin D3 as well - I buy mine on E-bay. But there is totally an advantage to letting one's mind age, as it brings stability - after a while, I have learned a lot, and I would rather stay in an area I know than constantly be exploring new social groups and new frontiers.

And I mean constantly - like, for example, ending up in completely different social groups (I've gone from gamers to rugged backpacking outdoors-women somehow).
edit on 7-3-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)

Star to you on this one.

I'm mid 30's and just recently, found myself, figured myself out, figured out life, and others, and the beat goes on and on. Not say I'm perfect because I'm a work in progress, but at least there is a solidity and maturity that has been established. Very Zen like now.

If I was to go back to my teens: Lust/One Nighters, Drunk, Drugs, Fights, Arrested, Ignorant, Stupid, Selfish, Hatred, Negative, Lost ....and the beat went on.





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