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Medicine Science

Magnetic Stimulation Boosts Memory In Humans 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-learning-through-fridge-magnets dept.
sciencehabit writes: Our memories are annoyingly glitchy. Names, dates, birthdays, and the locations of car keys fall through the cracks, losses that accelerate at an alarming pace with age and in neurodegenerative diseases. Now, by applying electromagnetic pulses through the skull to carefully targeted brain regions, researchers have found a way to boost memory performance in healthy people. The new study (abstract) sheds light on the neural networks that support memories and may lead to therapies for people with memory deficits, researchers say. Similar studies have been performed using electric current.
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Magnetic Stimulation Boosts Memory In Humans

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  • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:58AM (#47784515) Homepage Journal

    Somehow, I think I'll be seeing bullshit products on infomercials that are "proven" to enhance memory that won't actually do anything besides "be magnets that cost $100".(5 easy payments of $19.99)

  • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:58AM (#47784519)

    These are magnetic pulses. No, strapping magnets to your wrist/ankle/belly/tinfoil-hat still won't accomplish anything.

    • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Friday August 29, 2014 @11:01AM (#47784541)

      Oh great, NOW you tell me. I already stole all the magnets from the company kitchen and made a hat out of them. Oh well, if nothing else it'll be a great conversation starter.

      • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Friday August 29, 2014 @11:14AM (#47784623)

        It's the rate of change of magnetic flux that does the trick. You get changing flux from a changing electrical current, or from a moving magnet. So maybe if you loaded the magnets into a shotgun, then fired them through your brain, you'd notice an effect.

        • So maybe if you loaded the magnets into a shotgun, then fired them through your brain, you'd notice an effect.

          This gets my vote for Best Quote of the Day.

        • It's the rate of change of magnetic flux that does the trick.

          So, in theory, standing near a nuclear explosion to get a direct cranial hit from the EMP it generates should do wonders for your mental capacity....
          • by roc97007 (608802)

            It's the rate of change of magnetic flux that does the trick.

            So, in theory, standing near a nuclear explosion to get a direct cranial hit from the EMP it generates should do wonders for your mental capacity....

            For some definition of "wonders", yes.

          • by sjames (1099)

            Yes. You will absolutely remember every detail of the explosion for the rest of your life.

        • So maybe if you loaded the magnets into a shotgun, then fired them through your brain, you'd notice an effect.

          You know, I've heard that you get the same effect by using rocks as with magnets. You don't hear about that as much because the medical industry wants to keep you in the dark and hooked on expensive magnetic technology instead of actually curing the issue for once and for all, cheaply and effectively. But take my word for it - rocks work just as well and only costs the time it takes to find the rig

        • No silly. If you blast magnets through your brain you'll destroy your brain tissue.

          Much better to go put your head on the track of a mag lev train. Your brain tissue will be fine and you'll get super magnetic field strength

        • by ebyrob (165903)

          oh, so I should sit on the magnet and spin?

        • by volpe (58112)

          I You get changing flux from a changing electrical current, or from a moving magnet.

          How about (iron-rich) blood *moving* past a stationary magnet?

          • The peak rate of flow for blood appears to be well under 1 m/s, even in the largest vessels. No, you won't get a noticeable effect.

        • by Livius (318358)

          So maybe if you loaded the magnets into a shotgun, then fired them through your brain, you'd notice an effect.

          I suspect you wouldn't notice anything. Ever.

      • by Anonymous Coward

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    • ^but strapping a subwoofer to your head might, then?
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      So, what you're saying is that you need spinning magnets?

      • No, not spinning, reciprocating -- moving in and out.

        You know, like the ones in that Insane Clown Posse song that everyone keeps quoting.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      These are magnetic pulses. No, strapping magnets to your wrist/ankle/belly/tinfoil-hat still won't accomplish anything.

      That means they can sell you a battery pack for the halo.

  • by frog_strat (852055) on Friday August 29, 2014 @11:52AM (#47784895)
    That the wild ass speculation at the end is given equal footing with a formal study ? Having had a couple of mini-strokes, and having a job that mostly involves concentration, this topic is of interest to me. I can say that adderall (took it a couple of times) and my nootropic cocktail definitely help.

    It is annoying how many fundamentalists.there are on here. Intelligent only in the cognitive domain. Science requires agnosticism. Engineering requires pessimism.
  • Have there been any studies correlating MRI's to better memory?

    And/or everybody gets an MRI as part part of your 'getting older checkups' like a colonoscapy?

    I had a brain tumour, and lobectomy to remove it. my memory is kinda crappy (except for things that I deem are *VERY* important (like wifes birthday).

    I want something to fix me!

    • by Anomalyst (742352)
      after being fixed would you stop humping the furniture?
    • by mick129 (126225)
      MRI is considered to be for passive viewing - I is for imaging. With TMS, on the other hand, the S is stimulation. It's intended to create an electrical response in specific areas of your brain using a specially shaped and targeted magnetic paddle. It's not that magnetism in general is beneficial. It's just that magnetism was used in the specifically targeted electrical stimulation. The benefit of using magnetism with TMS is that the stimulation is indirect - it doesn't require wires and brain surgery,
  • by Bengie (1121981) on Friday August 29, 2014 @12:11PM (#47785041)
    I have actually found my memory has been getting better with age, but I had a horrible memory as a child. I've been finding that the more I learn, the more ways I have to associate knowledge, allowing me to better recall or learn new knowledge.
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      I have actually found my memory has been getting better with age, but I had a horrible memory as a child. I've been finding that the more I learn, the more ways I have to associate knowledge, allowing me to better recall or learn new knowledge.

      I'm guessing you don't watch a lot of TV.

      • by Bengie (1121981)
        I watch A LOT of anime, like 2-12 hours per day, but my day job involves a lot of thinking, and my general hobbies involve a lot of thinking and reading/learning. I'm on /., so use whatever stereotype.

        An example is I was also very interested in Japanese many years back in college, around 22. I started to to self teach the Hiragana. I only made it a small way in because I had issues remembering the characters, even though I spent over a month trying to remember them. I'm now 30 and I have recently taken up
  • Here come the cow magnet hats
  • I want to take care of my mind too, but I'd rather do so by exercising. I've read several articles, including this one [medicaldaily.com], which said that exercising helps protect your brain from decline. I'm not a doctor, but exercise just seems safer than applying electromagnetic pulses through the skull.

  • by Frans Faase (648933) on Friday August 29, 2014 @01:39PM (#47785745) Homepage
    In 2006 my wife reported that her memory improved after she had an MRI taken of her head when she was suffering from memory problems. A few months later, also based on lumbal puncture, she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers disease. She reported that her thinking became much more clear. The effect only lasted for half a day. When I told her neurologists, she laughed it away.
    • by mick129 (126225)
      MRI is considered to be for passive viewing - I is for imaging. With TMS, on the other hand, the S is stimulation. It's intended to create an electrical response in specific areas of your brain using a specially shaped and targeted magnetic paddle. It's not that magnetism in general is beneficial. It's just that magnetism was used in the specifically targeted electrical stimulation. The benefit of using magnetism with TMS is that the stimulation is indirect - it doesn't require wires and brain surgery, just
  • how do they work?

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