Tiny electrical shocks to the brain appear to enhance memory

News from the web:

Lightly shocking a person’s brain just before they learned a new task appeared to strengthen memory in a handful of patients with epilepsy, a tantalizing result that could have implications for Alzheimer’s disease, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Pacemaker devices known as deep brain stimulators made by Medtronic and St. Jude Medical are already used to calm muscle tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, and are being tested for a host of other conditions such as treatment-resistant depression.

The devices are implanted under the skin in the chest with wires leading up the neck connected to tiny electrodes implanted deep in the brain, which produce electrical impulses.

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