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Common Drug Helps Adults Acquire Perfect Pitch, Learn New Language, Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience Reveals


1/8/2014 6:57:00 AM

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What if you could regain the long-gone ability to learn a language, say, as effortlessly as you once did in childhood? You just might be able to... with the help of a relatively commonplace drug. In a new study, researchers found that valproate, an anticonvulsant which is used to treat epilepsy, PTSD, and mood disorders, helped adult volunteers learn to identify pitch significantly better than those who trained in the same program while taking only a placebo. “This study provides the ‘proof-of-concept’ for the possibility to restore [brain] neuroplasticity using a drug,” wrote the authors in the study, published in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. “Normal male volunteers performed significantly better on a test of [absolute pitch] after two weeks of [valproate] treatment than after two weeks of placebo.”

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