Make New Memories But Keep the Old, With a Little Help From Electrodes | Smithsonian

Scarce on details but certainly I will be keeping tabs on this.

Deep sleep, a period that’s known as vital for memory formation, becomes rarer as people age, waning more and more after individuals hit their mid-30s. By attaching two electrodes to a person’s scalp, Walker can direct a current into the prefrontal area and simulate the slow waves of deep sleep while the wearer slumbers.
The technique is called transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), and while the equipment to do it is commercially available, it is not FDA approved for use on medical conditions. The devices in their current form aren’t intelligent enough to know when a wearer is in deep non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and so they aren’t able to start stimulating in that sleep stage on their own and sync up with the brain’s waves. “At present, we scientists need to do this in a sleep lab,” says Walker. “We have to measure someone’s sleep, and then switch the stimulator on at the desired stimulating rhythm to have a beneficial effect.” That said, he believes in five to eight years these issues will be resolved, and these devices could help those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, insomnia, depression and anxiety.

Source: Make New Memories But Keep the Old, With a Little Help From Electrodes | Innovation | Smithsonian

1 thought on “Make New Memories But Keep the Old, With a Little Help From Electrodes | Smithsonian

  1. Hi Mathew. Your indication of new hope for insomnia sufferers is encoursging. I am managing my cronic insomnia a litle better after a few sessions with cbti specialists. The major change was learning that i was getting 2 to 3 hours of deep sleep generally. More frequently now i achieve sleep after 330am even after following a healthy circadian schelule of going to bed at 11pm. And the neurological symptoms of acute deprivation are likely a few nights every week. I have used 60 10mg or 5mg doses of zolpidem to get occasional recovery sleep. I am 71. What i really need is professionally administered cortical modulation. East Coast or West Coast treatment would be useful. What can you recommend?
    Thanks
    Brian Piersol
    Piersol33@gmail.com
    Brooklyn, NY

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