Noninvasive brain stimulation turns back clock on memory

(Jed Akst/ The Scientist) — Noninvasive stimulation of key brain regions could help people reverse the common age-related decline in working memory — our ability to remember names, numbers, and other tidbits of information — according to a study published in Nature Neuroscience April 8.

The approach, known as transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), allowed researchers to improve the synchronization of activity between the frontal cortex and the temporal cortex, which appears to be important for working memory.

“This study suggests that age-related impairment in one particular form of short-term memory largely reflects a failure of synchronization,” Michael Kahana, a brain scientist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the research, tells The New York Times.

If the approach is validated in additional studies and proves useful for improving other types of memory, he adds, “it could be a game changer for the treatment of age-related memory decline and possibly even dementia.” (…)

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