25 October 2009

Making Retarded Brains Smarter

Researchers at Georgetown University are focusing on Brain Derived Growth Factor (BDNF) as a potential therapy for multiple forms of mental retardation. Genetic disorders that leave developing brains deprived of necessary developmental proteins can theoretically be reversed, at least partially, by replacing the deficient proteins and growth factors, such as BDNF.
Abnormalities in the number and shape of dendritic spines, the protrusions that allow communication between brain neurons, have been observed in patients with mental retardation. Previous research led by Baoji Xu, PhD, associate professor in the department of pharmacology, has shown that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth factor synthesized in dendrites, regulates the number and shape of dendritic spines required for spatial learning and memory.

...These results highlight the role of BDNF in mental retardation, Xu says, and indicate that increasing the transport of these growth factors may be a way to treat these conditions. __SD
This approach is the most obvious and currently the most promising theoretical approach to mitigating genetic forms of mental retardation. As the list of genetic causes of lower intelligence grows longer, the number of possible replacement proteins and growth factors for treating mental retardation and low intelligence will grow apace.

Beyond simple replacement of deficient growth factors and proteins (such as receptors), other approaches will involve modifying the number of genes involved (overexpression) and intervening further down the line of gene expression (epigenetics). Nanotechnological drug depots for time release of growth factors, and even artificial receptors may be involved as procedures advance.

Mental retardation is an age old scourge of humanity -- but it is particularly important at this time in history when less intelligent populations of tribal nations are exploding in size while more intelligent populations of advanced nations are vanishing before our eyes. Consequently, average human IQ across the world is dropping from an already low 90 IQ points down to the mid 80s by the middle of the century.

Advanced democracies in Europe and North America are dependent upon intelligent voters to prevent a complete descent into corrupt idiocracy. If the average voter IQ is 90 or below, rather than near 100 as at present, the advanced democracies will slowly sink into idiocracy -- like most of the third world. Low IQ immigrants to Europe and North America could never have built the civilisation that they are attempting to join (and sometimes overthrow). But if advanced democracies are overwhelmed by too many alien voters of below-threshold IQ, introduced too quickly, the civilisation can come to an end.

In other words, therapies for making people more intelligent are important for helping reduce the suffering from mental retardation. But a much larger and more universal suffering is coming to the advanced world if the problem of the coming low intelligence population is not dealt with.

This problem is the primary problem that humans face today. Not global warming, not peak oil, not overpopulation as such. A steadily decreasing average intelligence across the planet -- including most advanced nations. If science cannot solve this problem, future generations of humans will be living under a thousand variants of Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, and Hugo Chavez.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we as a society wanted smarter voters we needn't spend the effort raising their IQs and simply demand that the basic principles of informal logic and argument construction and criticism be taught as manditory subjects to all school children under the principle that it is useless to teach literacy if you're not going to teach kids how to evaluate what they read. But we, as a society are interested in nothing of the kind. Write your political representative or the opposition over the issue and they will thank you for writing. Write the civil servants about it and they will either falsely believe that the subject is already taught somewhere in the language arts topic or will tell you that they are too busy teaching important things like "life skills" to deal with "philosophy". Another excuse is that people pick up these skills on their own as they pick up their native language. Have a listen to the average person's vocabulary to debunk that thought.

People who have learned critical thinking skills make for more troublesome voters, discerning consumers and pick audiences for the media. No one wants that. And the same "logic" stands for any attempt to increase the intelligence of the population.

Sunday, 25 October, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should read "picky audiences". I had to teach myself proof reading as well as logic. It makes me wonder what exactly public school taught me anyway.

Sunday, 25 October, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is something very wrong with someone who tries to turn this issue inside out and relate it to politics. ugh.

Tuesday, 27 October, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Interesting points, Baron, thanks.

Hannah, I quite agree. That is exactly why we must remove the thuggish elements of political correctness out of academia, out of research, out of the media, and out of governmental funding agencies and bureaucracies.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

Wednesday, 28 October, 2009  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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