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Brain zaps boost memory in people over 60, study finds

By The News · 11 of April 2019 07:29:53
AP Photo,, No available, This Friday, April 5, 2019 photo provided by Boston University shows a cap that administers electrical stimulation and monitors brain waves for a visual working memory test at one of the school's laboratories. A study released on Monday, April 8, 2019, finds that zapping the brains of people over 60 with a mild electrical current improved a form of memory enough that they performed like people in their 20s. (Rob Reinhart/Boston University via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — People over age 60 whose brains were zapped with a mild electrical current showed improvements in a form of memory in a new study. In fact, they began performing as well as people in their 20s.

The study focused on working memory, which is the ability to hold information in mind for a matter of seconds as you perform a task. Scientists say it’s crucial for things like taking medications and planning. Results were reported Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

In the study, participants had to remember a detailed image of an object for three seconds in order to judge whether another image was identical or slightly different. They did that repeatedly.

The electrical current was sent through the scalp to improve communication between two areas of the brain.