Electric stimulation ‘a promising advancement’ for reversing memory loss | CTV

CTV : Electric stimulation ‘a promising advancement’ for reversing memory loss

From NorthwesternNow: Brain stimulation reverses age-related memory loss

“Older people’s memory got better up to the level that we could no longer tell them apart from younger people,” said lead investigator Joel Voss, associate professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “They got substantially better.”

We covered Joel Voss and related research in September of 2018
Stimulation Excites the Brain to Form Better Memories | NorthwesternU

Paper: Network-targeted stimulation engages neurobehavioral hallmarks of age-related memory decline

Not related directly with the research, but interesting to note in the video where Canadian researcher Jed Meltzer, a scientist at Baycrest Hospital’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto is shown demonstrating an ActivaDose device and an unusual montage.

Longitudinal Neurostimulation in Older Adults Improves Working Memory | PLOS ONE


Modeling of current flow when applying 1.5 mA tDCS for F4 anodal (top) and P4 anodal (bottom) stimulation and the cathodal electrode placed on the contralateral cheek.

Important study. 72 older participants, average age 64 showed improvement in working memory tasks but also (and this is a big deal where it comes to cognitive enhancement) significant transfer (where improvements are seen in other tasks not specifically trained for). These results run counter to other recent studies and beg the question of whether the participant’s age was a factor. i.e. Is tDCS more effective for aging brains? That would be a big deal. [See Also: tDCS selectively improves working memory in older adults with more education]  And thanks to PLOS ONE we can all read the full paper (linked below)

The results demonstrated that all groups benefited from WM training, as expected. However, at follow-up 1-month after training ended, only the participants in the active tDCS groups maintained significant improvement. Importantly, this pattern was observed for both trained and transfer tasks. These results demonstrate that tDCS-linked WM training can provide long-term benefits in maintaining cognitive training benefits and extending them to untrained tasks.

Interesting, the location of the reference (cathodal) electrode was opposite cheek.

In all conditions, one electrode was placed over the target location at either F4 or P4 (International 10–20 EEG system) and the reference electrode was placed on the contralateral cheek.

via PLOS ONE: Longitudinal Neurostimulation in Older Adults Improves Working Memory.

Catching Up – Articles of Note January 2013

Neurobiological Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation: A Review
The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neurobiological mechanisms involved in the effects of tDCS.

Neuroenhancement of the aging brain: restoring skill acquisition in old subjects.
The main finding was that old participants experienced substantial improvements when training was applied concurrent with tDCS, with effects lasting for at least 24 hours.

Examining transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) as a treatment for hallucinations in schizophrenia.
Auditory verbal hallucinations were robustly reduced by tDCS relative to sham stimulation…

Modulation of training by single-session transcranial direct current stimulation to the intact motor cortex enhances motor skill acquisition of the paretic hand.
tDCS facilitated the acquisition of a new motor skill compared with sham stimulation…

Interactions between transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and pharmacological interventions in the Major Depressive Episode: Findings from a naturalistic study.
tDCS over the DLPFC acutely improved depressive symptoms…

Amelioration of cognitive control in depression by transcranial direct current stimulation.
Deficient cognitive control over emotional distraction is a central characteristic of major depressive disorder (MDD)
The present study demonstrates that anodal tDCS applied to the left dlPFC improves deficient cognitive control in MDD.

Transcranial direct current stimulation of the motor cortex in the treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomized, double-blind exploratory study.
No significant effect was seen in the primary outcomes between active and sham stimulation

Comparing immediate transient tinnitus suppression using tACS and tDCS: a placebo-controlled study.
…bifrontal tDCS modulates tinnitus annoyance and tinnitus loudness, whereas individual alpha-modulated tACS does not yield a similar result.

Review of transcranial direct current stimulation in poststroke recovery.
In this review, we summarize characteristics of tDCS (method of stimulation, safety profile, and mechanism) and its application in the treatment of various stroke-related deficits, and we highlight future directions for tDCS in this capacity.