Stimulate the brain with electricity improves memory

Health 31 January, 2018


Published the 31.01.2018 at 16: 30


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To say that one has good or bad memory is a misnomer. In reality, the human being has four types of memory : working memory, short-term memory, visual memory and verbal memory. The last we can remember sounds, words, stories, or information, sometimes with extreme accuracy. This for several seconds, even several minutes. As reported in the site EurekAlert, researchers at the Mayo Clinic, a federation of hospital and university in the us, have discovered that electrical stimulation of a part of the brain, the temporal lobe, would improve verbal memory.

“Tickle” the brain

Twenty-two volunteer patients participated in the study. They had to pass an assessment test before surgery. Each patient had to read a list of words, electrodes planted in the brain. This last was so “tickled” by a very low electrical stimulation. Then, each patient had to give back the list of words, in any order.

On the twenty-two patients, four of them had their temporal lobe stimulated. In the other it was other parts of the brain. The researchers then found that those four people out there who have seen their performance on the memory increase. One patient even stated that it was easier for him to imagine the words to remember after.

An economic issue

The discovery of the researchers is not useful in the interests of performance. But this could give rise to a new type of therapy for persons with disorders of verbal memory. Because many brain-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, have consequences, sometimes serious and irreversible harm to the memory. According to Jamie Van Gompel, a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic who specializes in brain stimulation and author of the study, “these findings may lead to new stimulus packages that deal with deficits in memory and cognition”.