Commissioned by an interdisciplinary team of scientists and academics from the research centers at UC – Berkley and Stanford, a joint study released today has proven definitively that if one does not use it, he or she will ultimately lose it.
Taking on what is still an extremely divisive issue in the scientific community, the team of researchers behind the three-year study are claiming their results validate the findings from several previous independently-commissioned studies which first identified a strong correlation exists between not using it and losing it but until now had not been able to demonstrate causality.
Mitch Johanski, President of Lost and Never Found, a non-profit dedicated to providing assistance to those who have lost it and educating the public on using it regularly, has dealt with losing it firsthand and believes this is a major breakthrough for his organization’s mission: “We know that we still have a long way to go in terms of making sure that no person, whether male or female, rich or poor, is unaware of the consequences of not using it, but this is a landmark day for us. Having scientific proof to back up the heartbreaking stories we hear on a daily basis goes a long way in helping advance public awareness.”
Those heartbreaking stories come from victims that until now were not only ignored, but persecuted. Charles Reinalt of Dearborn, Michigan has been ensconced in a legal battle with his health insurance company for the past two years over the cost of the medical bills he incurred while fighting an unsuccessful battle with losing it. "It sneaks up on you. We had two kids in high school and one in college, and it felt like using it was always the last priority. Then one day I tried to use it and realized it was all but gone. I immediately went to the doctor, whose team was fantastic, but even near-bankrupting my family wasn't enough to help in the end."
Fortunately, these findings should also help bolster funding for those that are attempting to synthetically create it, something that seemed impossible only a decade ago but which has seen incredible breakthroughs in recent years. Researchers at the Wormald Center in Frederick, Maryland followed 145 monkeys from birth to age 3, at which point a baseline level of it was ascertained, with 59 of them being considered "high risk" for losing it because they had siblings or parents who had lost it. After an 18-week trial, those given Itaingone, a chemical that boosts the body's production of it, saw significantly positive results compared to the control group. With results like these, they are optimistic that human trials are not far off.
However, until then, Mitch Johanski reminds us, "If you don't use it, you lose it; and once you lose it, it's gone forever.”