Electrical pulses that synchronize the sleeping brain appear to boost memory

A study reveals that electrical pulses synchronizing the sleeping brain can boost memory.

The research: In a study of 18 people with severe epilepsy, participants scored higher on a memory test when given deep brain stimulation during non-REM sleep.
* The stimulation synchronized the activity of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, two brain areas involved in memory consolidation.

Significance: The results support the leading theory of how the brain turns daily events into long-lasting memories and suggest potential approaches to aid those with sleep and memory problems.
* The new approach could potentially help patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s, whose sleep is not functioning well.

Expert opinions: Dr. György Buzsáki of New York University, not involved in the research, said that the findings were “reason to celebrate” but noted that altering brain rhythms in healthy individuals might not improve their memory since communication channels are already optimized in their brains.

View original article on NPR

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