miércoles, marzo 15, 2006

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: Brain-Healing Nanotechnology - Technology Review

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: Brain-Healing Nanotechnology - Technology Review: "'We think this is the basis of reconstructive brain surgery -- which is something nobody has ever heard of before,' says Rutledge Ellis-Behnke, a researcher on the project and a brain and cognitive sciences researcher at MIT.

The treatment, described online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and performed at MIT, Hong Kong University, and Fourth Military Medical University in China, may be available to humans in trials in as little as three years if all goes well in large-animal studies, the researchers say.

In their experiments, the researchers first cut into a brain structure that conveys signals for vision, causing the small lab animals to be blinded in one eye. They then injected a clear fluid containing chains of amino acids into the damaged area. Once in the environment of the brain, these chains, called peptides, bind to one another, assembling into nano-scale fibers that bridge the gap left by the damage. The mesh of fibers prevents scar tissue from forming and may also encourage cell growth (the researchers are still investigating the mechanisms involved)."

Hack: Oxigeno y glucosa

Mind Performance Hacks
Overclock Your Brain
Chapter 8, Mental Fitness | 285
[con comentarios]

Oxygen is used as part of glucose metabolism to provide brain cells with a number of important chemicals that allow them to support themselves and communicate with other neurons.

Mental performance relies on the functioning of the brain, and like with any
other organ, this performance is linked to how many resources are avail-
able. Research has shown that in some instances, mental performance is
rate-limited by the available glucose and oxygen. In other words, you can
increase the rate of mental processing by increasing the available fuel
One of the most reliable findings is that increasing available glucose and
oxygen seems to have a beneficial effect on memory. Importantly, the effect
is usually found for memory encoding but not memory recall
. [así que aumentar oxígeno y glucosa sirve para memorizar pero no para recordar, sin embargo debemos tener en cuenta que se recomienda hacer los exámenes en las mismas condiciones en que se estudió, por lo que debería cuidarse tener el mismo aporte]

Increasing glucose and oxygen supplies to the brain seems to allow informa-
tion to be committed more accurately and fully to memory
; in other words,
you learn better. This means when you come to recall it at a later stage, you
will undoubtedly do better, because the information there is clearer and
more comprehensive. The reverse does not seem to be true, however. If you
first encoded something without the aid of extra oxygen and glucose, sud-
denly making more oxygen and glucose available when you try to recall it
will not improve your overall memory performance.

Boost oxygen levels. The improvement in oxygen levels on memory
typically lasts for a few minutes only
(five is about the limit), so you need to
time your learning to happen shortly after an increase in oxygen, or ensure
that you maintain a slightly increased level for the duration of the learning
. Oxygen canisters are available in some shops, although they are
often expensive and unwieldy. More usefully, deliberately taking some deep
breaths will increase blood oxygen levels for a short time
, as will light exer-
cise. Going for a walk while listening to something you want to remember
on an MP3 player should do the trick, as long as the environment is not so
distracting that you cannot concentrate. [acá podría entrar la posibilidad de usar nootrópicos que favorecen el aporte de oxígeno al cerebro: vinpocetina, hydergina, nicergolina, gingko biloba, picamilon, posiblemente pirytinol y otros]

Optimize glucose supplies. Glucose has a much longer-term effect, as shown
in Figure 8-1.

Here the maximum available glucose peaks at about an hour,
although it rapidly becomes available after it has been ingested. All energy-
giving foods are broken down into glucose at some stage, although at differ-
ent rates. This graph charts the rate of pure glucose absorption, so it best
matches the effects of sugary drinks. [por lo tanto hay que tener en cuenta qué se toma y el momento, si se requiere un tiempo extendido de trabajo podría combinarse un carbohidrato de asimilación más rápida con uno más lento]

Glucose is important as a simple fuel, but it is also used in the creation of
the neurotransmitter acetylcholine
. This brain chemical is particularly linked
to memory, and it’s no accident that, like oxygen, extra glucose is linked to
an increase in memory and learning ability

Again, timing is crucial, but not so much effort is needed to constantly maintain
glucose levels. A well-timed sugary drink, 30 minutes to an hour before you want
to remember or take notice of something particularly closely, should improve how
well you remember it