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The abnormal accumulation β-amyloid peptide is the leading candidate for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked the 6th leading cause of death in the United States while some statistics claim it may rank as high as the third leading cause of death.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressive disease that causes the loss of memories and cognitive function. It is the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60 to 80% of cases.

Alois Alzheimer is credited as documenting the first published case of “presenile dementia.” Later his colleague Kraepelin would identify it as Alzheimer’s disease.

Present treatments for Alzheimer’s are currently ineffective in reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. For well over a decade research has suggested that the precursor of the β-amyloid is implicated in the BACE1 enzyme. Current BACE1 inhibitory drugs are in development to help patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Xiangyou Hu, pHd and team generated BACE1 conditional knockout (BACE1fl/fl) mice in order to mimic the inhibition of BACE1 in adults. In order to induce the deletion of BACE1 through genetic modification the team also bred BACE1fl/fl mice with ubiquitin-CreER (a genetic inhibitor) after passing early developmental stages.


The reversal of amyloid deposition was the result of sequential and increased deletion of BACE1 in an adult AD mouse model 5xFAD.

Another significant improvement based upon the reversal of amyloid deposition was in gliosis, which is one of the most prominent features of many diseases of the central nervous system. Gliosis is a process which leads to scarring within the central nervous system. It is well established that neurotic dystrophy is induced by Beta-amyloid plaque.

Thus another result of this reversal saw an improvement in less neurotic dystrophy. Moreover, as determined by experiments of contextual fear conditioning and by long-term potentiation, there was vast improvement in synaptic functions.

The results indicate that the reversal of Beta-amyloid deposition through the inhibition of BACE1 in AD mouse models will provide insight for the proper use of BACE1 inhibitor in human patients.

Journal of Experimental Medicine

February 14, 2018

Full Abstract Study

New research shows that the brain‘s neuroplasticity isn’t as flexible as previously thought.

One of the brain’s mysteries is how exactly it reorganizes new #information as you learn new tasks. The standard to date was to test how neurons learned new behavior one #neuron at a time.

Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh decided to try a different approach. They looked at the population of neurons to see how they worked together while #learning a new behavior. Studying the intracortical population activity in the primary motor cortex of rhesus macaques during short-term learning in a brain–computer interface (BCI) task, they were able to study the reorganization of population during learning.

Their new research indicates that when the brain learns a new activity that it is less flexible than previously thought. The researchers were able to draw strong hypothesis about neural reorganization during learning by using BCI. Through the use of BCI the mapping between #neural activity and learning is completely known

In this experimental paradigm, we’re able to track all of the neurons that can lead to behavioral improvements and look at how they all change simultaneously,” says Steve Chase, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.

When we do that, what we see is a really constrained set of changes that happen, and it leads to this suboptimal improvement of performance. And so, that implies that there are limits that constrain how flexible your brain is, at least on these short time scales.”

It is often challenging to learn new tasks quickly that require a high level of proficiency. Neural plasticity is even more constrained than previously thought as results of this research indicate.

None of us predicted this outcome,” says Matthew Golub, a postdoctoral researcher in electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon. “Learning is far more limited on the scale of a few hours than any of us were expecting when we started this. We were all surprised that the brain wasn’t able to choose the best strategy possible.

The research was done in collaboration with the Center for Neural Basis of Cognition, a cross university research and educational program between Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh that leverages each institution’s strengths to investigate the #cognitive and neural mechanisms that give rise to biological intelligence and behavior.

Nature Neuroscience (2018) Full Abstract Study

Twenty years ago, way back in the primordial soup of the early Network in an out of the way electromagnetic watering hole called USENET, this correspondent entered the previous millennium’s virtual nexus of survival-of-the-weirdest via an accelerated learning process calculated to evolve a cybernetic avatar from the Corpus Digitalis. Now, as columnist, sci-fi writer and independent filmmaker, [Cognition Factor — 2009], with Terence Mckenna, I have filmed rocket launches and solar eclipses for South African Astronomical Observatories, and produced educational programs for South African Large Telescope (SALT). Latest efforts include videography for the International Astronautical Congress in Cape Town October 2011, and a completed, soon-to-be-released, autobiography draft-titled “Journey to Everywhere”.

Cognition Factor attempts to be the world’s first ‘smart movie’, digitally orchestrated for the fusion of Left and Right Cerebral Hemispheres in order to decode civilization into an articulate verbal and visual language structured from sequential logical hypothesis based upon the following ‘Big Five’ questions,

1.) Evolution Or Extinction?
2.) What Is Consciousness?
3.) Is God A Myth?
4.) Fusion Of Science & Spirit?
5.) What Happens When You Die?

Even if you believe that imagination is more important than knowledge, you’ll need a full deck to solve the ‘Arab Spring’ epidemic, which may be a logical step in the ‘Global Equalisation Process as more and more of our Planet’s Alumni fling their hats in the air and emit primal screams approximating;
“we don’t need to accumulate (so much) wealth anymore”, in a language comprising of ‘post Einsteinian’ mathematics…

Good luck to you if you do…

Schwann Cybershaman

Greetings fellow travelers, please allow me to introduce myself; I’m Mike ‘Cyber Shaman’ Kawitzky, independent film maker and writer from Cape Town, South Africa, one of your media/art contributors/co-conspirators.

It’s a bit daunting posting to such an illustrious board, so let me try to imagine, with you; how to regard the present with nostalgia while looking look forward to the past, knowing that a millisecond away in the future exists thoughts to think; it’s the mode of neural text, reverse causality, non-locality and quantum entanglement, where the traveller is the journey into a world in transition; after 9/11, after the economic meltdown, after the oil spill, after the tsunami, after Fukushima, after 21st Century melancholia upholstered by anti-psychotic drugs help us forget ‘the good old days’; because it’s business as usual for the 1%; the rest continue downhill with no brakes. Can’t wait to see how it all works out.

Please excuse me, my time machine is waiting…
Post cyberpunk and into Transhumanism