Left Menu
Development News Edition

Magnetic stimulation of brain improves memory, could pave way for treating dementia

Devdiscourse News Desk | Washington DC | Updated: 17-05-2019 18:02 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 12:53 IST
Magnetic stimulation of brain improves memory, could pave way for treating dementia
Working memory is the process of recalling and then using relevant information while performing a task.

Magnetic stimulation of the brain improves working memory, according to a study that may lead to a new therapy for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The study, published in the journal PLoS One, found that healthy younger and older adults who received repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) therapy performed better on a memory task than those who received a placebo.

Working memory is the process of recalling and then using relevant information while performing a task. It is a key component of day-to-day tasks like driving to a new location, making a recipe, or following instructions.

"This study relies on highly individualised parameters, from the selection of the simulated target, based on fMRI activation, to the selection of the difficulty, titrated according to subjects' performance," said Lysianne Beynel, a postdoctoral associate at Duke University in the US. Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow.

"Now that we have shown that these specific parameters can improve performance in healthy subjects, we will be able to extend it to populations with memory deficits," said Beynel. Individuals with Alzheimer's disease, which will more than double by 2050, and other forms of dementia, experience progressive loss of working memory and other forms of cognition, researchers said.

This leads to a greater risk of injury or death and reduces their ability to function without home care, they said. Twenty-nine young adults and 18 older adults completed the study, which involved trying to remember and then reproduce a series of letters in alphabetical order.

The researchers applied either online high-frequency (5Hz) rTMS or a placebo-like sham over the left prefrontal cortex, an area on the brain responsible for higher executive function. Participants of all ages who received rTMS performed better than those who received the rTMS-like placebo.

"Interestingly, we only saw this effect during when participants were trying their hardest, suggesting a real use-it-or-lose-it principle at work here," said Simon W Davis from Duke University. "Contrary to much of what we hear, ageing brains have a remarkable capability to remember past events and to use that information in a flexible manner. "The brain stimulation applied in our study shows that older adults benefited just as much as the young," Davis said.



Dissecting how COVID-19 is catalyzing the trajectory of New World Order

The ensuing pandemic of COVID-19 has hit the globalization in two ways firstly, shrinking the importance of globalization as an economic force by curtailing mobility through worldwide lockdowns, and secondly, rejuvenating the idea of indig...

Domestic seafood trade in focus as COVID-19 changes market dynamics

As predicted earlier in a report titled Seafood industry post-COVID 19 An overhaul to trigger the growth of small fisheries, one of the changes going ahead would be increased focus on domestic seafood trade, driven by falling exports and su...

Migration post-COVID 19: Taking cues from the past to rebuild economies

Migrants are an irreplaceable part of even the essential workforce of developed countries and are on the frontline in the fight against the crisis, making an immeasurable contribution to saving the lives of natives with voting rights....

Socialization Post-COVID-19: Local associations and online groups to play crucial role

Though every age group is suffering due to the global lockdown caused by the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges before adolescents are unique. Their social space has shrunk drastically, besides, they have become highly vulnerable to ...


Latest News

Donald Trump threatens to move the GOP convention out of Charlotte due to COVID 19 restrictions

US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to move the Republican convention out of Charlotte in North Carolina if its Democratic Governor did not remove the restrictions on social distancing measures which are in force due to coronavir...

Soccer-Funes Mori faces surgery after thigh muscle injury

Argentine defender Ramiro Funes Mori will undergo surgery on a thigh muscle injury on Tuesday, his Spanish club Villarreal said on Monday. The club said he had suffered a ruptured tendon in his right thigh in training last Thursday as the t...

Could a space congestion charge clear up junk-ridden skies?

Countries should levy an orbit congestion charge on satellite operators to tackle the growing concentration of space junk cluttering the skies, researchers said on Monday, but with some doubting the practicalities of such a fee.From dead sa...

Indian American NGO releases USD 10,000 for Amphan disaster relief

An Indian-American non-profit body on Monday announced the first tranche of USD 10,000 dedicated for the rescue and relief operations for those affected by the devastation caused by super Cyclone Amphan in coastal belts of Indian states of ...

Give Feedback