Why is this Important? Because this could be like a real-life version of the film Limitless. tl;dr (Long Story Short) Scientists appear to have…
Why is this Important?
Because this could be like a real-life version of the film Limitless.
tl;dr (Long Story Short)
Scientists appear to have found a regulator in the brain that suppresses the production of molecules required to build new memories, opening up the possibility that human brains are capable of much more.
The brain’s untapped capabilities have often been the subject of speculation and notably forms that basis of the 2011 Bradley Cooper film Limitless. While the old adage that we only use 10% of our brains is untrue, the discovery of a ‘turbo switch’ for memory may suggest that there is more to our brains than we’re currently aware of.
Researchers have reportedly identified a molecule that limits brain processing and found that when it is removed, brain function and memory improves.
Tests on mice showed that a protein called FXR1P (Fragile X Related Protein 1) prevented production of the molecules needed to build new memories. When it was selectively removed from parts of the brain, connections between brain cells were strengthened, leading to improved recall in the mice.
“Our findings show that the brain has a key protein that limits the production of molecules necessary for memory formation,” Dr. Keith Murai from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail. “When this brake-protein is suppressed, the brain is able to store more information.
“Future research in this area could be very interesting,” Murai continued. “If we can identify compounds that control the braking potential of FXR1P, we may be able to alter the amount of brain activity or plasticity.”
These developments could lead to crucial breakthroughs in treating neuro-degenerative diseases such as autism spectrum disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. And who knows, the idea of a pill to help the brain function better may not be the realm of science-fiction anymore.
Own the Conversation
Ask The Big Question: Will scientists one day unlock the brain’s true potential?
Disrupt Your Feed: I always knew it was Fragile X Related Protein 1’s fault that I didn’t do better in exams.
Drop This Fact: Recent research suggested that we do create memories in infancy but the brain deliberately forgets them in a process called infantile amnesia.
Expand Your Expertise
- Scientists reveal molecular ‘turbo’ switch in the brain that could allow us to store MORE information and boost our brainpower [Daily Mail]
- Total recall: The science behind it [Science Codex]
|1.||↑||Source: Ask Men – http://ca.askmen.com/news/sports/scientists-find-brain-s-turbo-switch.html|