Re: Another small piece in the puzzle

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Mon 27 Jan 2003 - 21:13:23 GMT

  • Next message: Philip Jonkers: "Re: Another small piece in the puzzle"

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Philip Jonkers" <>
    > >
    > >
    > >>NIH scientists have shown that a common gene variant influences memory
    > >>events in humans by altering a growth factor in the brain's memory hub.
    > >>average, people with a particular version of the gene that codes for
    > >>derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) performed worse on tests of episodic
    > >>memory ? tasks like recalling what happened yesterday. They also showed
    > >>differences in activation of the hippocampus, a brain area known to
    > >>mediate memory, and signs of decreased neuronal health and
    > >>interconnections. These effects are likely traceable to limited movement
    > >>and secretion of BDNF within cells, according to the study, which
    > >>how a gene affects the normal range of human memory, and confirms that
    > >>BDNF affects human hippocampal function much as it does animals'.

    Hi Phil, Ray,

    Yes, interesting indeed, but my first impression was one of doubt. Not with the article itself, the researchers are probably right, and I won
    't argue their assumptions. What I do want to point out is the fact what you can read; or don 't read between the lines.

    Like the sentence, ' people with a particular version of the gene.... etc' makes me shiver. Again this is dividing people in categories, you have the gene, your memory is worse... you have to go left, the 'good', sane ones go right, that kind of stuff. I know, that was not the researchers their intend, but I have always questioned such elaborations. They ' found ' genes for homosexuality, for violence, for smoking, for drinking, and now, seemingly one for ' memory- loss '. In the long run, such knowledge can be hazzardess to the individual who has the defect.

    How far can the right to ' know ' go !? And in the other sense, to what point reaches your own responsibility if you apply the right ' not to know ' !? Will you, as a parent, take your responsibility and tell your kid that high school is out of the question because it has a genetic defect con- cerning its memory !?

    Best regards though,


    By the way, Philip, you can get, for free, a rapport on ' Testing of people
    ', but I suppose for our co- memebers only in Dutch... Mail to and ask for the brochure ' Zit het in mijn genen ' and the rapport of the conference ' Testing of people '. I am still waiting for my copy. Maybe for our co- members.... you can check out the webpages of the De Koning Boudewijnstichting, don 't know the url...

    Enjoy !

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