For people with mental conditions, memory loss can affect the quality of life. Especially aging individuals, recalling past events can sometimes be confusing. Thus, researchers at Northwestern Medicine studied about a non-invasive brain procedure that may help enhance memory.
“We show that it is possible to target the portion of the brain responsible for this type of memory and to improve it,” lead author Joel Voss, assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told the Northwestern
. “People with brain injuries have problems with precise memory as do individuals with dementia, and so our findings could be useful in developing new treatments for these conditions.”
In a paper published in Current Biology,
experts said that by stimulating the brain network responsible for spatial memory with powerful electromagnets, people's precise memory may be improved.
Precise memory is being able to recall details such as the specific color, shape and location of a building you are looking for, rather than simply knowing the part of town it’s in. In the test conducted by researchers, they learned that this noninvasive procedure can boost precise memory for a full 24 hours.
“We improved people’s memory in a very specific and important way a full day after we stimulated their brains,” Voss said.
Researchers used MRI to monitor the brain activity during and after the noninvasive electromagnetic stimulation. They were able to identify the memory-related brain networks that were stimulated due to the procedure.
Experts have also conducted detailed memory tests to show improved spatial precision memory, as well as EEG to know if memory improvements corresponded to indicators of improved brain network function.
Researchers concluded that, "these findings demonstrate that brain networks can be causally linked to distinct and specific neurocognitive functions and suggest mechanisms for long-lasting changes in memory due to network-targeted stimulation."