There are a number of personalities and institutions investing in brain implant research, from Elon Musk to MIT and even the US Department of Defense, and it seems that soon enough we will witness humans with their natural capabilities improved due to such devices.
A professor from the University of Southern California (USC) has now demonstrated that an inclusion of a brain implant is not only a means to improve memory but also helps with treatment of the extremely deadly Alzheimer’s disease.
To test his device, Professor Dong Song and his team recruited 20 volunteers who were already going to implant electrodes in the brain in order to treat epilepsy.
After implanting the device in the patients, they were able to obtain data regarding their brain activity by using tests created to stimulate both short-term memory and working memory, thus determining the pattern associated with memory performance, and then used Electrodes to stimulate the brain, following the same pattern.
According to the readings of the test results, after the inclusion of the device, the stimulus improved the short-term memory by about 15% and the working memory by 25%, but as they tried to randomly stimulate other areas of the brain, the performance worsened substantially.
This may seem quite interesting to those who need some help to accomplish the high demand school exams or have a high demanding job, but it is completely crucial for people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age, with the highest risk group being those of over 65 years of age.
Due to the constant increase in life expectancy, the segment of the population at risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s constantly increases, and in 2030, about 20% of the citizens of the United States will be 65 years old.
Many tests are still needed until Song’s treatment can be used and approved as a treatment, but nonetheless, if this is really capable of helping the patients, the positive impact will also affect their familiars and the economy in general.