Alzheimer’s is a disease that has been plaguing humanity everywhere on the planet. Age is the major factor and it usually occurs after the age of 65. With technological advances, life expectancy is being increased and a greater number of people are living beyond 65 years of age. No cure has yet been discovered to put a stop to this degenerative disease. But, the brain implants recently tested have shown promising results.
Brain implants are being studied by a number of institutes including MIT, Elon Musk, and even the US Department of Defense. A professor at University of Southern California (USC) has demonstrated the use of brain implants to improve human memory.
Dong Song, a research associate professor of biomedical engineering at USC, recently presented his findings on a “memory prosthesis” during a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC. This is the first device to effectively improve human memory.
The device was tested when these brain implants were implanted into 20 volunteers who were having brain electrodes implanted for the treatment of epilepsy. This allowed Song’s device to collect data on the brain activity during tests designed to stimulate either short-term memory or working memory.
A pattern was determined by the researchers for the optimal memory performance. They then used the electrodes to stimulate that exact pattern in later tests and found that this stimulation showed promising results. Short-term memory was increased by 15% while working memory was improved by 25%.
When the researchers stimulated random patterns they saw the brain functioning worse. Song told New Scientist, “We are writing the neural code to enhance memory function. This has never been done before.” This is a life-changing breakthrough for the people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This would make the healthcare bills go way down and save families from emotional turmoil. In 2016 alone, the cost of healthcare for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients was approximately $236 billion. Song’s device although not still approved for official treatment and requires further testing, the results till now have been promising and we might see it being widely used soon.
This video shows a test that lets you know if you are prone to Alzheimer’s and if you are, at what age.