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I recently had a chance to see the new, popular action movie “Limitless”. The plot of the movie revolves around the changes in the lifestyle of the main character Eddie Morra, who enhances his average existence by taking an unapproved memory-enhancing drug called NZT. This drug allows Eddie “to use every part of his brain…”, access old memories quickly and make new ones extremely quickly and efficiently. Upon leaving the theater, I decided to find out if the researchers in real life will be capable of creating such drug in the near future. As it turned out, recent discoveries suggest that we are close to creating such drugs, which gives me hope that my misery of spending endless nights at the library will end very soon.
Current real-life research efforts are concentrated on enhancing the creation and accessibility of memories. These drugs are being created in order to treat people suffering Alzheimer’s, dementia and amnesia. According to Alcino Silva, a memory researcher at UCLA, even though these drugs may be useful for treatment in the future, they will cause harm to people who would undoubtedly take it for recreational use. As you can imagine, this news brought my growing excitement to a screeching halt.
The possibility of creating a memory-enhancing drug has been enhanced by the recent discovery of two memory boosting molecules in the brain. The first discovery of the naturally occurring hormone that enhanced rat’s memories was made by Christina Alberini Mount Sinai School of Medicine. A few months after this event, Todd Sacktor of SUNY Downstate Medical Center discovered a protein called PMKzeta that is capable of “enhancing and erasing memories long after they become permanent.” Although there is still a lot of testing to be done, learning how to manipulate these proteins could pave the way to a memory-enhancing pill.
It should be mentioned that if this drug were to ever be created, there is a strong possibility that it may be abused by people who do not need it. Scientists are afraid that this new drug may follow in the footsteps of other commonly abused cognitive enhancers such as Adderall and Ritalin. Unnecessary abuse of these drugs may result in the destruction of the self-regulation processes that take place in our brain and may cause serious damage to overall health.
For the full article, visit: http://www.livescience.com/13291-limitless-memory-enhancer-110317.html
To find out more about your brain go to: http://www.livescience.com/12916-10-facts-human-brain.html
Written by: Sergey Chikvashvili