Non-invasive magnetic brain stimulation improves memory




Scientists at Northwestern University have shown that they can improve with a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation.’s Memory subjects This makes the activity of certain areas of the brain is stimulated.

The results of a placebo-controlled clinical study in healthy volunteers were published this week in the prestigious scientific journal Science. Scientists at Northwestern University recruited 16 healthy volunteers who wanted to do in a study of brain stimulation with the aim to improve memory. First was using an MRI scan an overview of the location of certain brain areas involved in memory; although the brains of people have a similar layout, the exact location can vary from a few centimeters between individuals, according to the scientists.

Then the subjects were given a brain stimulation technique that transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, hot. By sending magnetic pulses through the skull arise within the brain electrical currents that raising the activity of the affected areas. By activating targeted areas of the brain was trying to improve memory. Of subjects Because the technique is non-invasive, and therefore there is no operations are needed, they can be easily tested on humans.

In the study, the subjects received TMS or nepstimulatie which had to serve. Placebo as Then memory tests were conducted. It showed that after an average of three days tms there is improvement occurred in the memory. The improvements in the memory persisted until 24 hours after stimulation. Therefore, there is still no permanent improvements. The scientists also found that the brain stimulation caused the affected areas better ‘synchronized’ were together. Also, the synchronization with the hippocampus, a brain region that plays a key role in memory, has been improved.

The next step in the research is testing TMS in patients with early stages of memory loss. These could include patients with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Such diseases are no good therapies available. With TMS, the scientists hope to counteract the symptoms. Amnesia However, it is still unclear whether the technique also works with people with these brain abnormalities.

This week in Science, a study published that was conducted in mice, which showed that it is possible to erase specific fearful memories and replace them with positive associations it. Because of the invasive nature of the study, such studies can not yet take place in humans.


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