Long-lasting, dissociable improvements in working memory and long-term memory in older adults with repetitive neuromodulation
A new paper published this month in the journal Nature Neuroscience, shows evidence that repetitive brain stimulation of healthy participants can cause selective memory improvements that last up to one month post-treatment.
By selectively stimulating areas of the brain involved in different types of memory, researchers were able to improve the participants’ performance on tests designed to measure that specific type of memory. One experiment involved low-frequency stimulation of the prefrontal cortex, which boosted working memory, while another involved stimulation of the parietal cortex, which improved long-term memory.
All participants were between the ages of 65 and 88 and had no signs of cognitive impairment. Future studies may seek to investigate the effect of the stimulation on individuals with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia which may impair certain types of memory.
Researcher Shrey Grover says the stimulation therapy could be used alongside traditional treatment methods to provide an extra cognitive boost. “Any efforts to remain cognitively engaged are always welcome, this kind of approach is perhaps something that could be added on to things that people are already doing.”