Non-invasive brain stimulation may help memory and thinking skills

09 April 2019

Nature Neuroscience: Working memory revived in older adults by synchronizing rhythmic brain circuits

New US research has shown that a non-invasive brain stimulation procedure could help improve memory and thinking in older adults. The findings are published today (Monday 8 April) in the journal, Nature Neuroscience.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“To function properly the brain requires both electrical as well as chemical signals and research is beginning to investigate whether electrical stimulation of certain brain regions can help improve people’s memory and thinking.

“In this study, a non-invasive technique was shown to stimulate certain brain regions and improve memory function in cognitively healthy people. While this is a well-conducted study involving more people than other studies of its type, it did not look at people with dementia.

“What makes this study intriguing is that it tests a non-invasive approach unlike previous research in this area, which has often studied direct brain stimulation through invasive implants. Although this lays the ground work for future tests, further research is vital before we’ll know if this approach will provide long-lasting benefit for people with dementia.

“With few treatment options available for people with dementia, we must continue to explore every avenue for developing new treatments. Harnessing the latest technologies to develop new interventions to improve the lives of people living with dementia continues to be an important area of research for Alzheimer’s Research UK.”