Improve Memory by Zapping Your Brain, Study Says It’s Possible

I read the WSJ daily and found this article very interesting since I’m getting older.

Zapping the brain with weak electrical currents that mimic normal neural activity can boost memory in healthy older adults, at least over the short term, researchers said in a study published Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Electrical stimulation of the brain as a potential tool for enhancing memory is a growing field of research, with experiments showing that the ability to recall memories depends upon synchronized activity between different brain regions.

The new research, conducted on people over age 65, “adds to the growing evidence that noninvasive stimulation mimicking the rhythmic brain activity that supports cognition can improve memory” in this population, said Joel Voss, a University of Chicago professor of neurology who wasn’t involved in the research.

For the study, a team of researchers led by Boston University neuroscientist Robert Reinhart conducted a series of experiments to test the effects of noninvasive electrical brain stimulation on 150 people between 65 and 88 years of age. Participants listened to and then tried to recall a list of 20 words spoken slowly to them as the researchers stimulated specific regions of their brains via electrode-studded elastic caps worn on their heads for 20 minutes.

Applying mild electric shocks to the brain can reverse memory loss in older people, a study suggests. Scientists at Boston University in the US found that stimulating the working memory part of the brain with electric currents can help reconnect circuits that have become faulty due to aging.
  1. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. …
  2. Stay mentally active. …
  3. Socialize regularly. …
  4. Get organized. …
  5. Sleep well. …
  6. Eat a healthy diet. …
  7. Manage chronic conditions.

However, it’s not the first time researchers have shown that zapping the brain can temporarily improve memory. Worrell, of the Mayo Clinic, published a study in 2018 that found low-intensity electrical stimulation to a specific area appeared to improve verbal short-term memory.
Because electrical charges are responsible for brain activity, electrical stimulation can in turn be used to change the brain’s functioning. Brain stimulation has been used to treat mood disorders and stress, and it can even help people to solve problems, memorize information, and pay better attention.
Stimulating the brain with a weak current of electricity can enhance a person’s math skills for up to six months without influencing other mental functions, new research finds.

Zapping elderly brains with electricity improves short-term memory—for almost an hour

The study suggests out-of-sync brain waves help drive cognitive aging.

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