Nevertheless, there is reason for optimism. Experiments have shown that the memories of healthy old monkeys can be improved with drugs. Other experiments have demonstrated that human experience the same kinds of memory loss repair as monkeys. It is reasonable to believe that if such problems can be reversed in monkey, they may also be reversible in humans.
When Thomas Crook founded the Memory Assessment Clinics in 1985, one of his goals was to test various drugs that were believed to have the power to restore memory. He was, however, faced with a problem: Few healthy people had ever been test for memory function, so there are no criteria, or baselines, for distinguishing between the memory losses caused by aging. It was important to make such a distinction so the drugs could be tested with precision. Crook surmised that some drugs might benefit people whose memories were impaired by disease but not people experiencing normal memory, and vice versa. To determine which drugs were effective for which conditions, he first had to establish baselines.
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