Where Did I Park? Brain Treatment May Enhance Spatial Memory

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Where Did I Park? Brain Treatment May Enhance Spatial Memory

One type ofِ memory canِ beِ improved byِ sending electrical pulses intoِ the brain, a newِ study suggests.
In theِ study, patients withِ epilepsy whoِ wereِ treated withِ deep brain stimulation showed enhanced spatial memory, theِ type ofِ memory youِ needِ to find yourِ car inِ a parking lot.
The study wasِ small — justِ seven patients — andِ it’s unclear whetherِ theِ findings wouldِ apply toِ people withoutِ epilepsy, orِ ifِ the technique couldِ improve otherِ types ofِ memory, suchِ asِ the ability toِ remember events inِ your life.

The study will be published Feb. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulation hasِ previously beenِ shown toِ helpِ with symptoms ofِ Parkinson’s disease andِ obsessive compulsive disorder.
Patients inِ the newِ study hadِ previously hadِ electrodes implanted inِ their brains, toِ locate theِ origins ofِ their seizures.
Meanwhile, theِ researchers stimulated eitherِ the hippocampus, whichِ plays a role inِ forming memories, orِ the entorhinal cortex, a sort ofِ doorway intoِ the hippocampus, throughِ which brain signals mustِ pass beforeِ memories areِ formed.

Enhancing memory

Because theِ brain stimulation wasِ delivered onlyِ while participants wereِ learning, theِ findings suggest thatِ suchِ stimulation wouldِ notِ needِ to beِ continuous inِ order toِ improve memory, Fried said.
Benjamin Greenberg, a psychiatrist atِ Brown University andِ at Butler Hospital inِ Providence, R.I., whoِ hasِ researched deep brain stimulation butِ was notِ involved inِ the newِ study.
However, it’sِ way tooِ soonِ to sayِ whether theِ findings withِ apply toِ Alzheimer’s patients, Greenberg said.

Pass it on:  Deep brain stimulation appears to enhance memory in epilepsy patients.

This story wasِ providedِ byِ MyHealthNewsDaily, a sistere site toِ LiveScience.
Follow MyHealthNewsDaily staff writer Rachael Rettner onِ Twitter @RachaelRettner.
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