Brain Stimulation May Benefit Dementia Patients

AARP Bulletin July-August 2017

Side view of the brainUniversity of Pennsylvania neuroscientists discovered that brain stimulation by a brain implanted “pacemaker” can increase memory function when given if the brain is in a “foggy” state. Psychologist Michael Kahana noted that the stimulation must be properly timed. If given when the brain is functioning well, it may decrease thinking skills.

The trial was testing patients with epilepsy, and some evidently had memory problems as well. That is how this discovery was made. The investigational team hopes to start trials with memory-impaired individuals once an implantable brain stimulator capable of reading brain states is designed.


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