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Implant could have benefits for long term memory problems

Published 17 June 2011

Scientists have created an electrical device that can record and play back signals in the brain of rats associated with memory according to a study published in the Journal of Neural Engineering today

Researchers from the University of Southern California used electrical pulses to replicate interaction between two parts of the brain involved with converting short term memory into long term memory. They found doing this could restore long term memory in rats induced to have memory problems. They also found it could improve the memory of rats with normal memory.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'Finding ways to combat symptoms caused by changes in the brain is an ongoing battle for dementia researchers. An implant like the one developed for this study could provide an exciting new prospect with real potential. However, this is very early research and we are a long way from knowing if the same results would be seen in people. It also only addresses one of the many symptoms of dementia.

Dementia research is drastically underfunded. If we are to develop further treatments and ultimately a cure, we must invest now.'

Susanne Sorensen
Head of Research
Alzheimer's Society