"Smart Drugs" On The Way

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"V!agra Of The Mind" May Help Pilots...

A new generation of, uh, performance-enhancing drugs -- nicknamed "V!agra for the mind" -- is in the works, and drug companies already are looking at pilots as a potential market. According to a report in theage.com, some in the industry are predicting these so-called "smart drugs," which dramatically improve memory, could be on the market in five to 10 years. "If [the drug] proves safe and effective, it could ultimately be used by people who want to learn a language or a musical instrument or even in schools," said Tim Tully, a professor of genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Tilly's lab developed a drug, with the hard-to-remember name HT-0712, that works by kick-starting a vital gene involved in the memory-formation process. As we get older, that process slows down, and that's why we can't find our keys in the morning or remember names as well as we used to. So far, fruit flies and mice given the drug have shown remarkable memory improvement (who knew fruit flies had memories?). A trial will be done with 100 people who have mild memory loss this summer, and Tilly estimates that if all goes well, HT-0712, presumably with an easier-to-remember name, will be on the market in five to seven years.

Note: AVweb intentionally altered the name of the drug in an attempt to elude spam filters that might otherwise prevent us from fulfilling your AVflash subscription.