A few electrical zaps may boost memory


Sending weak electrical current into the brain for 20 minutes a day for four days in a row reversed declines in working and long-term memory that come with aging, scientists reported Monday in Nature Neuroscience. The researchers found that the effects lingered even after the electricity was turned off. When they tested subjects a month later, many of the improvements from the brief sessions of brain stimulation remained.

By zapping the brain in precise regions with unique frequencies of alternating current “we could improve either short-term or long-term memory separately,” psychology researcher Robert Reinhart of Boston University told reporters. “And with this intervention across four consecutive days, we could change memory and watch the benefits accumulate over those days, which is striking.”

The findings provide some of the strongest support yet for a method called transcranial alternating current stimulation, or tACS, as a potential means for boosting mental functions essential to navigating the world and understanding one’s own place in it — functions that tend to deteriorate the older people get.

Read the full story from our colleagues at STAT: https://www.statnews.com/2022/08/22/brain-stimulation-electricity-boosts-short-and-long-term-memory/