Brain stimulation via electrical impulses can restore memory in senior citizens to the levels of 20 year olds.
Some background: The fact is, that unfortunately, our memory starts to decline as we hit age 50. In later years, such as age 70 and older, not only both our short and long term memory get worse, it also affects our quality of life. Currently, there is no cure for memory loss.
Brain: Is This A Potential Cure?
Now, researchers at Boston University have possibly come up with a potential cure for memory loss in senior citizens. The team applied external electric stimulation to the brains of older adults, age 70 and older. This brain wave stimulation was synchronized and uniformly applied throughout different brain regions responsible for memory processing and retention.
Brain: Study Results
Senior citizens aged 70+ and the control group comprised of 20 year olds, were asked to memorize an image. Later, they were shown a second image and asked whether it was the same or different from the first one. The 20 year olds remembered, whereas the seniors showed significant forgetfulness.
Next, at a later 30 minute interval, the 70 year olds were given a 25 minute electrical brain stimulation session. The 20 year olds were not treated. Again, 30 minutes later — both groups were given a simple visual memory task. This time seniors remembered very well, on par with the 20 year old participants.
In this study, the improved memory of the seniors group was tested only to 50 minutes past the brain stimulation session. Of course, more testing will be necessary to determine how long this improvement can last.
The results of this study are promising as it suggests that brain electrical stimulation can improve memory in senior citizens. Ability to recall and restoring the flow of information in the brains of seniors would improve their quality of life.
But, even more, if memory and recall improvement can be extended for more than 50 minutes, it carries tremendous possibilities for treating people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and younger people with brain injuries.