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← Scientists discover way to reverse loss of memory

Scientists discover way to reverse loss of memory - Comments

Andrew Stich's Avatar Comment 1 by Andrew Stich

This article was fascinating and reported quite well. However, one cannot help but wonder if the the practical benefits will in actuality pull through. As Ayesha Khan said, this will need much further investigation. But it was an intriguing prospect.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 11:52:00 UTC | #112542

Slyer's Avatar Comment 2 by Slyer

This is very interesting, not just for the memory recovery but the increased learning ability!
Brain implants may finally be here. :)

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 12:15:00 UTC | #112553

annabanana's Avatar Comment 3 by annabanana

I was thinking the same thing slyer! I want one if it improves my learning abilities. Maybe we should let all the theists have first dibs, though, since they obviously need the increased learning ability more than we do. ;)

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 12:26:00 UTC | #112561

Elles's Avatar Comment 5 by Elles

Oh good... hopefully, someday I won't have to worry about going senile. Maybe I won't even have to worry about my parents going senile.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 12:50:00 UTC | #112584

Melomel's Avatar Comment 4 by Melomel

This is interesting to me for the longer term - the more we learn about how the brain, memory, and consciousness work, the further along the road we are to downloading.

"I want to achieve immortality through not dying." - Woody Allen

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 12:50:00 UTC | #112583

Corylus's Avatar Comment 6 by Corylus

It has been so successful in treating Parkinson's that 40,000 patients worldwide now have electrodes implanted in their brains driven by pacemakers stitched into their chests.
An interesting recount of a personal experience of deep brain stimulation by Fergus Henderson (top chef and parkinson's sufferer).

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 13:23:00 UTC | #112609

ExGodBotherer's Avatar Comment 7 by ExGodBotherer

duh, my brain hurts

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 14:00:00 UTC | #112645

BaronOchs's Avatar Comment 8 by BaronOchs

As a very nostalgic kind of person I'd love to get the old memory circuits stimulated.

Perhaps we could have a future where we can go to something looking like a Barber's shop and have our brains played with as we like!?

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 14:13:00 UTC | #112661

brian thomson's Avatar Comment 9 by brian thomson

When you increase the gain in any analogue circuit, you potentially increase any noise that comes with the signal. What is "noise" in memory circuits - false memories? Hmmm...

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 14:17:00 UTC | #112664

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 10 by Quetzalcoatl

This is fascinating stuff, I hope it does have some potential for Alzheimers, that is an illness I would not wish upon anyone. Articles like this are just a reminder of how little we know about ourselves, and how much there is still to learn.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 14:23:00 UTC | #112668

LorienRyan's Avatar Comment 11 by LorienRyan

Can they hook me up for my next exam!

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 14:46:00 UTC | #112682

JesperB's Avatar Comment 12 by JesperB

Electrodes in the brain is a fairly crude method to alleviate Parkinson's (despite the glowing praise in this article). I still believe, that Biotech will yield better results with less side-effects, although something is of course better than nothing. Still, fascinating stuff...

annabanana: Nah, they'll just use it to learn more theology. Lets give it to real scientists.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 15:19:00 UTC | #112698

aflacgirl84's Avatar Comment 13 by aflacgirl84

Very interesting. I wonder how well something like this could help people with learning disabilities?

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 15:20:00 UTC | #112699

RedManTyping's Avatar Comment 14 by RedManTyping

"Brain implants may finally be here. :)"

....Orwell just managed a full 360' revolution, well done.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 15:26:00 UTC | #112702

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 15 by Gymnopedie

Seems too good to be true.

One step closer to becoming bionic people. Bring it on!

JesperB: Learn Theology? There is some sort of linguistic dissonance occurring in my brain each time I read that.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 16:14:00 UTC | #112778

njwong's Avatar Comment 16 by njwong

Reading this article reminds me of the science fiction story "Flowers for Algernon" (which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards):

We do need to investigate whether there are any undesirable side-effects to deep-brain stimulation in the longer term. I welcome any cure for Alzheimer's Disease, but I am not so sure of using deep-brain stimulation to improve a healthy person's mental ability until long term studies show that the treatment has no harmful side effects.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 18:31:00 UTC | #112935

Goodwithwood's Avatar Comment 17 by Goodwithwood

"Resistance is futile"

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 18:42:00 UTC | #112943

DasSquid's Avatar Comment 18 by DasSquid

If we can learn precisely where certain memory is held it'd be great, for example, I have fantastic visual memory, I read or see something, and I RARELY forget it. I have atrocious audio memory, I meet someone new, they say their name, moments later I have no clue.

It seems weird, but at a party if I meet someone new they say their name, if I want to remember it, I whip out my mobile, write their name down and wham, I'll NEVER forget it.

I'd love to be able to stimulate my audio memory... This is rather exciting news indeed!

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 19:41:00 UTC | #113009

Mal3's Avatar Comment 19 by Mal3

This is wonderful.

As someone whose memory functions more like a sieve than a bucket, the implications of this are astounding.

If I had one, I'd sell my soul for one of these "pacemakers".

As it is, though, I may have to settle for selling my kidney, as I have a spare.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 19:55:00 UTC | #113030

Recalcitrant's Avatar Comment 20 by Recalcitrant

Annabanana, do I really need fundies running around who can spout the bible verbatim? Its bad enough already. Imagine the I-35 group with these things...they'd sprout up on I-40 also. They'd also start into grand theft auto and then spout off verbatim about Jesus stealing a baby donkey to ride into Jerusalem as a defense. Now if you could wire these people up with OnStar while you're at it that might be nice. Read off their mark of the beast bar code or RFID tag number while they're proselytizing mid sentence and they shut down....bad joke. Unfortunately, all they'd be motivated to learn would be more nonsense. We need to wire these people for common sense or something to satiate/suppress their god center of the brain.

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 22:00:00 UTC | #113110

Geoff's Avatar Comment 21 by Geoff

Fascinating stuff. My mum suffers from Alzheimers, although this procedure has probably arrived too late to help her (she's in her 80's).

I wonder, though, what (if anything) was done to verify whether his "park" memory was accurate.

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 02:49:00 UTC | #113191

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 22 by rod-the-farmer

Fascinating to be sure. As for me, my father had Alzheimers for 10 years before he died, and it caused a lot of stress in the family. The older his children get, the more sensitive we become to the least possible hint of forgetfulness.

What I found of even greater interest is the statement that

The scene was in colour. People were wearing identifiable clothes and were talking, but he could not decipher what they were saying

I wonder why not ? Is the memory of speech sounds held in a different part of the brain ? Was there any traffic noise or bird calls in the recovered memory ? I can see THIS article being read by a great many people.

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 03:26:00 UTC | #113205

Titus's Avatar Comment 23 by Titus

Isn't science great!

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 05:57:00 UTC | #113263

JesperB's Avatar Comment 24 by JesperB

Gymnopedie: You are right, of course. For "Learn" read "pull out of ass".

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 06:36:00 UTC | #113278

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 25 by Oromasdes1978

What a discovery!

I am so happy about this, I have known far too many people with Alzheimers and its dreadful to see them decline the way they do. This brings a smile to my face and gives me hope, well done these guys, this is a tremendous breakthrough.

Plus I want one of these fitted so that I may never forget where my keys, mobile and wallet are ever again! The only downside is that you would remember what you got up to the night before when on the beers, some things should be left forgotten! :)


Thu, 31 Jan 2008 08:32:00 UTC | #113350

SomeDanGuy's Avatar Comment 26 by SomeDanGuy

With all the positive comments, I feel I should provide some cautionary ones:

1) Watch out for epilepsy! Hopefully they're using tiny, focal currents, but I worry that repeated use will cause epilepsy. (This is known as the 'kindling' model of epilepsy - give enough repeated electrical stimulation and you get an animal that has recurrent, lifelong seizures)

2) stereoroid is right: Who says these memories are even accurate? I would not be surprised if putting a big field in could aggregate aspects from various stored memories into one, new memory. That itself would still be fascinating though.

3) I wouldn't get too hopeful about this helping Alzheimer's where you have structural damage to the brain's connectivity and architecture (plaques and tangles). Putting a larger current into an already-fried circuit board isn't going to magically make it work again.

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 08:49:00 UTC | #113360

SilentMike's Avatar Comment 27 by SilentMike

Gee. Reading this one could think that the human mind actually had something to do with the workings of the human brain.

But seriously, I think we should be careful about this. I want to believe this find is as good as it could be, but the brain is a tricky bugger, and so is memory (Plus, there are serious limitations on the experiments you can do on live human brains, since they are attached to, and are the core of, live human beings). We don't know what was triggered there, and if it'll help Alzheimer's patients. I hope it will, but I also hope we'll know not to fool ourselves. Any chance of figuring out the workings of the brain lies in conducting a thorough study while maintaining a skeptical attitude about what we think we find. This is the biggest thing we've ever tackled.

21. Comment #118812 by Geoff

I wonder, though, what (if anything) was done to verify whether his "park" memory was accurate.

I seriously doubt it could be accurate. The brain just isn't big enough to remember everything that ever happen to us in every detail. I think we already pretty much know that the brain remembers the gist (if you're lucky) and will fill in the blanks with invented stuff when necessary.

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:27:00 UTC | #113825

cassdenata's Avatar Comment 28 by cassdenata

My dad has one of these for his Parkinson's. It was extremely succesful and quite an amazing piece of technology. Weird to think that he was awake, while they were probing his brain asking him questions though. I have the utmost respect and support for medical researchers working on easing suffering, particularly from this event.

Fri, 01 Feb 2008 17:22:00 UTC | #114587

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 29 by Agrajag

Monty Python was on this decades ago:
"New brain"!;-)

Sun, 03 Feb 2008 13:29:00 UTC | #115512

OnlyEvidence's Avatar Comment 30 by OnlyEvidence

I have heard this several times before. nothing new about electrodes and memory thing.

Sun, 13 Jul 2008 14:00:00 UTC | #199183