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Yale Researchers Identify Key Genetic Switch for *Brain Maturation*

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posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 05:20 PM
Hello ATS,

I recently stumbled upon this very interesting article regarding the blob of meat gift-wrapped between our ears.
Felt it was my responsibility to share it, as these types of discoveries are probably the best kind of food for thought.

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.


^ Please read the full article.

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.

This is so damn interesting.

“It suggests we can turn back the clock in the adult brain and recover from trauma the way kids recover.”

The possibilities are endless.
More overwhelming proof that we are entering a medical renaissance.

Hats off to these scientists, one step closer to fighting things such as alzheimers, schizophrenia, and a myriad of other traumas such as 'old age'.

The concepts in the article are great too. Really digging the way they describe a 'mature' brain to a 'youthful' brain.

Stay young ATS

posted on Mar, 29 2013 @ 05:32 PM
reply to post by ThinkingCap

Not sure why, but as I read the OP a biblical quote popped into my own brain, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." From Matthew.

It even uses the word "turn" as to suggest that some polarization is needed

Are we one step closer to learning about ourselves? Gosh, I hope so!

edit on 29-3-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 03:18 PM
A couple of things trouble me in this article. I'll quote the parts first and then state what troubles me about them:

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.

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.

I'm not sure if I'm comprehending the implication here correctly or not but it would seem to be stating that, by disabling the Nogo Receptor, those with PTSD could "lose stressful memories more quickly". Basically, taking the state of plasticity and the busy work of a childhood brain and letting those neural pathways to traumatic recollection decay. That implies creation of amnesia. As someone with troubles with amnesia, I can state right now that loss of memory does not equate to avoidance of PTSD. If anything, the loss of memory creates a state in which PTSD is nearly impossible to fight because one cannot learn to deal with the demons that created it. If that is, in fact, what they are implying, then what they are looking at is really a less barbaric way to do what Dr. Cameron Ewen was doing in MK-ULTRA in the 60's. Significant ethical questions in that potential usage.

In terms of stroke treatment and the like, no problems with it as being able to rebuild neural pathways to do activities that have been impacted by brain trauma is pivotal. In the case of physical brain trauma (though PTSD can be argued as a brain trauma in itself since there are physiological changes in the brain due to it), plasticity would definitely accelerate rehabilitation. I just don't think that anyone should play God with memory.

posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 04:49 PM
reply to post by WhiteAlice

For you.

I also noticed this, and held back because I felt it was speculation.
You constructed that thought very well though.

However, let's be honest. They've most likely been doing this for quite some time now.

First step: It is invented.

Second step: It is misused militarily.

Third step: It trickles it's way into the medical field.

posted on Mar, 31 2013 @ 02:52 PM
reply to post by ThinkingCap

Thanks. I hesitated as well because, well, everybody seems to point to any kind of cognitive research towards the MK project but I simply couldn't bite my tongue on it because I am an amnesiac with PTSD, lol. MK went on for a long time and involved at least 80 institutions across the US, the massive majority of whom were protected by Congress, itself. If you're a researcher who had spent years researching a specific subject matter for the government, it's unlikely that you're going to drop what you had invested your career in altogether. I honestly think that that is why there could be hints of MK-ish research going on and perhaps still going on. Our government basically financed this kind of research for a long time and expanded a body of knowledge which probably should have been left well alone or, through this body of knowledge, it introduced an ideology that still persists today-- "treating psychological trauma with amnesia". Just glad I didn't get the verbal smack down for stating it, lol.

posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 12:32 PM
I'd like a dozen of them to send out to my family with cards.

You could make a fortune from something like this.

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