Electro-brain therapy may evoke thoughts of flying over a cuckoo’s nest, but we may all soon be getting a bit of highly targeted deep brain stimulation (DBS) to keep our memory sharp and help push off dementia. Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore implanted middle aged rats with DBS electrodes that targeted the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain responsible for a lot of our higher level function.

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After continuous stimulation of the brain via the electrode leads, the researchers noted a significant improvement in the animals’ ability to perform memory intensive tasks. Moreover, after visualizing the rats’ brains, the researchers were able to see an increase in the formation of new neurons compared to the control group. As the researchers conclude in their abstract in journal eLife, “these findings suggest that chronic ventromedial prefrontal cortex high-frequency stimulation may serve as a novel effective therapeutic target for dementia-related disorders.”

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