New research from Duke University School of Medicine demonstrates that repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation improves working memory in healthy adults.
Working memory is the process of recalling and organizing information while performing a task. It allows us the ability to integrate memory into our interaction with the world, and underpins many important cognitive processes. It is involved in everything from following instructions to finding a new location when driving. Working memory declines in many neurodegenerative diseases. The loss of working memory is one of the primary symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
In this study, 29 younger adults and 18 older adults received rTMS to the left prefrontal cortex, an are of the brain involved in working memory and executive function. subjects received either 5Hz rTMS stimulation or a placebo-like sham procedure. All of the individuals that received rTMS improved on scores of working memory tasks, regardless of their age group. The effect seen was greatest on the hardest memory tasks.
TMS appears to be a promising therapy for memory enhancement, and may prove beneficial in improving function for those suffering from cognitive decline.
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