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Thread: Scientists discover way to reverse loss of memory

  1. #1

    Scientists discover way to reverse loss of memory

    Scientists discover way to reverse loss of memory

    By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
    Wednesday, 30 January 2008

    Scientists performing experimental brain surgery on a man aged 50 have stumbled across a mechanism that could unlock how memory works.

    The accidental breakthrough came during an experiment originally intended to suppress the obese man's appetite, using the increasingly successful technique of deep-brain stimulation. Electrodes were pushed into the man's brain and stimulated with an electric current. Instead of losing appetite, the patient instead had an intense experience of déj* vu. He recalled, in intricate detail, a scene from 30 years earlier. More tests showed his ability to learn was dramatically improved when the current was switched on and his brain stimulated.

    Scientists are now applying the technique in the first trial of the treatment in patients with Alzheimer's disease. If successful, it could offer hope to sufferers from the degenerative condition, which affects 450,000 people in Britain alone, by providing a "pacemaker" for the brain.

    Three patients have been treated and initial results are promising, according to Andres Lozano, a professor of neurosurgery at the Toronto Western Hospital, Ontario, who is leading the research.

    Professor Lozano said: "This is the first time that anyone has had electrodes implanted in the brain which have been shown to improve memory. We are driving the activity of the brain by increasing its sensitivity – turning up the volume of the memory circuits. Any event that involves the memory circuits is more likely to be stored and retained."

    The discovery had caught him and his team "completely by surprise", Professor Lozano said. They had been operating on the man, who weighed 190kg (30st), to treat his obesity by locating the point in his brain that controls appetite. All other attempts to curb his eating had failed and brain surgery was the last resort.


  2. #2
    Sound like something I need the way my memory has been the past few months. I would hate for it to dig up some memories I don't want to remember though.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  3. #3

    This reminds me of the movie "Awakenings" starring Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams. I feel that when patients become so overcome with the Alsheimers Disease they are like lost in the past or possibly have their past frozen so they no longer can be actually who they really were in the beginning/past. If you saw the movie(which I believe was based on actual events), the patients are as if frozen in time past.

    Hopefully this discovery will bring the patients back to their loved ones. It is truly sad to see someone we care for alive yet not here with us anymore.

    Thank you for posting this article.


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