Posted by: arisfil | February 2, 2008

Memory enhancement induced by deep brain stimulation

An article published online in 29th of January in Annals of Neurology by Dr Hamani et al (Division of Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital and Research Institute), reveals new secrets about the function of memory. The researchers were conducting an experimental Deep Brain Stimulation operation at the hypothalamic nuclei for treatment of resistant obesity in a fifty years old man. Suddenly the stimulation of the hypothalamic/fornix area, “evoked detailed autobiographical memories”. Electroencephalographic source localization showed activity “in mesial temporal lobe structures”. We should mention that before surgery the patient scored average to average-high in cognitive skills. After 3 weeks of continuous hypothalamic stimulation there were significant improvements 

This is an outstanding scientific discovery that opens the doors to the understanding of memory function modulation. Neurodegenerative diseases, involving the loss of higher cognitive skill of memory could earn an ally in the battle of memory loss. DBS using special stimulation parameters could maybe revive lost memories and optimize quality of life of neurodegenerative diseases patient.

Read the article’s abstract at the Annals of Neurology page.
Annals Of Neurology is the official journal of the American Neurology Association, Copyright © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

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