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Drug Reverses Retardation In Mice 318

Posted by kdawson
from the give-my-regards-to-algernon dept.
snydeq writes "Rapamycin, a medication doctors prescribe to transplant patients to prevent organ rejection, has been used to reverse learning disorders and mild retardation associated with TSC (tuberous sclerosis complex) in mice. Because the condition is linked to autism, scientists believe the drug may be used to treat learning disabilities and short-term memory deficits in all kinds of autism as well. The scientists chose rapamycin after they realized the drug regulates one of the same proteins that the TSC gene does, just in different parts of the body. 'What was surprising is that we could give rapamycin to adult mice and reverse their condition,' said neurobiologist Alcino Silva of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 'We did not know ... that this drug would be equally effective for the learning disabilities as it is for tissue rejection.' Rapamycin treatment leveled the playing field between normal and TSC mice in as little as three days."
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Drug Reverses Retardation In Mice

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  • flowers for algernon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday June 27, 2008 @08:34AM (#23965617) Homepage Journal

    make sure it doesn't wear off after a little while

  • $1k per month (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dougmeister (829273) on Friday June 27, 2008 @08:43AM (#23965729) Journal
    "Rapamycin costs about $1,000 per month" For the rest of your life. Wow. I guess that's still a price that someone would be willing to pay if it would benefit them.
  • by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde&gmail,com> on Friday June 27, 2008 @09:08AM (#23966001) Journal

    Seriously. I read that book 15 years ago and it still stands out in my mind how sad the degradation is. It is one of my worst nightmare to eventually lose my reasoning capacities.

  • Cod Liver Oil (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lobiusmoop (305328) on Friday June 27, 2008 @09:10AM (#23966021) Homepage

    Make sure you get plenty of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids while you're growing up (good source = cod liver oil), and you can avoid many mental problems in the first place [bbc.co.uk]

  • It's not that bad! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by timster (32400) on Friday June 27, 2008 @09:17AM (#23966091)

    I've been taking this drug for years. I'll tell ya, having three or four mouth sores at all times helps you lose weight! And when you can't come to work for a month because of a raging... common cold, your idiot boss totally understands!

    Sigh... luckily, these days, I'm on a lower dosage (and with a different boss).

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday June 27, 2008 @09:22AM (#23966175)

    My wife's grandfather had Parkinson's disease. As his disease progressed, his body gave out more and more. In addition to that, his mind slowly unwound as well. One day he would be perfectly lucid. The next, he would be talking to me about a "yesterday" that was really twenty years ago. It was sad to watch him slowly sink away physically and mentally. I'm still not sure which is worse, but I hope that I never have to experience that myself (or have any of my close loved ones go through that). I'd rather have a quick, painless death (at a ripe, old age, of course) than lingering for years losing everything that makes up "me".

  • by aproposofwhat (1019098) on Friday June 27, 2008 @09:33AM (#23966291)

    Any hope is a good hope.

    Amen to that - I'm looking forward to taking my severely autistic stepson out to the Brooklands Double Twelve this Sunday, and will be taking the utmost pleasure from seeing him enjoy himself among all the old racing cars.

    The behavioural problems we can cope with, but he's physically handicapped as well, so in residential care.

    But every Sunday, come rain or shine, it's Josh's day.

  • Retarded Mice? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cerelib (903469) on Friday June 27, 2008 @10:24AM (#23966963)
    I am curious. How do you tell a retarded mouse from a regular mouse? (No, they don't say NARF)
  • Re:Cool! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Friday June 27, 2008 @11:21AM (#23967895) Journal

    She's planning on college with a major in music. That's my fault, I'm afraid; I play guitar. When the kids were little I'd start playing and they'd run into the room I was in and plop down on the floor making requests. "Play the one about our eyes!"

    See, I'd change the lyrics so that the songs were about them. Leila (the oldest) has always been terrified of storms. She had the uncanny ability to predict the weather. If it was going to rain, she would know when to within twenty minutes. I have no idea how she did this.

    Patty's brown eyes, they seem to me
    Remind me of childhood memories
    When everything was as big as a bright blue sky
    Now and then when I see her face
    It takes me away to that special place
    And if I stay too long
    I'll prob'ly break down and cry

    Oh, Sweet child o' mine
    Oh, Sweet child o' mine

    Leila's got eyes like the bluest skies
    As if they're gonna rain
    I'd hate to look into those eyes
    And see an ounce of pain
    Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
    Where I couold go and hide
    I pray for the thunder
    And the rain
    To quietly pass her by

    Damn, I get misty thinking about it.

    I'm afraid I'm responsible for GameStop, too - I played Quake and Quake II and all sorts of other games with them on the computers I had networked together. Patty was a Jazz Jackrabbit fan, and one day she came to me wide eyed, "Dad, I didn't know you were famous!" It seems a fan of my old Springfield Fragfest web site ran across her playing Jazz Jackrabbit and was awe-struck that he'd met my daughter. Patty was awe-struck that game developers knew me online. One of the visual artists from Jazz Jackrabbit sent her a portrait of her as a rabbit.

    She has a natural affinity for music, though. She can pick up a piece of sheet music she's never heard, pick up her clarinet and just start playing. I'm in awe of her.

    Both of them are "Daddy's Girls". Their mom left us when they were teenagers.

    There's nothing better than parenthood. I waited to have kids, my advice to young people is DON'T WAIT. Just do it.

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