Memory is a weird thing. We can’t remember all the passwords we use, but we can recite the godawful lyrics Gene Roddenberry wrote for “Star Trek”‘s opening theme by heart. It’d be great if there was a pill you can take that just instantly improves your memory.
Well, thanks to some Texans and Canadians, now there might be.
Baylor University researchers working with McGill found that if you suppressed PKR, a molecule in the brain that normally regulates how neurons talk to each other, gamma interferon steps in and cranks the neural communication up, improving memory and overall function.
When tested in mice, they showed increased memory and neural functioning with no ill effects. It’s believed that this might be the wonder drug for Alzheimer’s, or at least substantially improve the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients. But, as the researchers point out, there’s no reason healthy people couldn’t take it. They just wouldn’t be allowed on Jeopardy.
[ via the Vancouver Sun ]