Tags: electric-pulse | memory | recharge

Electric-Pulse Memory Recharge May Be Possible

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By    |   Wednesday, 20 December 2017 06:41 AM

An electric-pulse memory recharge may be possible by invasive deep-brain stimulation with electrodes, a new study on epilepsy patients suggested.

The research findings, published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found in 14 patients that deep brain stimulation seemed to spark immediate changes in brain activity that did not appear before, HealthDay reported.

"This type of amygdala-mediated memory enhancement works by telling the brain to prioritize certain experiences to remember later," said Jon Willie, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University, per HealthDay.

The study asked the epilepsy patients who already had the electrodes placed into their brains to identify future seizure problems to take part in their work. The memory study involved 200 computer images, some viewing without the impulses and some with highly controlled impulses to the amygdala.

"We found that delivering small-amplitude brief electrical pulses at a particular frequency just after a patient viewed an image on a computer screen would significantly enhance their ability to recognize that same image the next day," Willie said, per HealthDay.

The Alzheimer's Association's director of science initiatives Dean Hartley told HealthDay that the results were "interesting" but he worried about the invasiveness of it.

"Brain surgery is fairly complex and has major drawbacks," Hartley said. "And elderly people don't always do so well in surgery. So, just from that standpoint, it seems not so viable. There's also the question of whether this type of intervention actually slows cognitive disease or just has a temporary effect."

The Michael J. Fox Foundation on Parkinson's Research stated deep brain stimulation has not always proven to be the answer in patients suffering from the brain disease.

"A general rule is that (deep brain stimulation) will likely improve Parkinson's symptoms that respond to medication," its website said. "The opposite is also true: symptoms that don't get better with medication probably won't respond to DBS. In the appropriately selected person, DBS can be very beneficial to lessen symptoms and medication requirements, as well as to decrease side effects that can accompany drug therapy."

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An electric-pulse memory recharge may be possible by invasive deep-brain stimulation with electrodes, a new study on epilepsy patients suggested.
electric-pulse, memory, recharge
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2017-41-20
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 06:41 AM
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