by Sharon Begley
“Shooting electrical current into the brain for just 25 minutes reversed the decline in working memory that comes with aging, scientists reported on Monday. Although the researchers tested the effects on people for only 50 minutes, the finding offers hope for boosting a mental function that is so crucial for reasoning, everyday problem-solving, and planning that it has been called the foundation of intelligence.
“By stimulating the brain in precise regions with alternating current (AC), ‘we can bring back the superior working memory function you had when you were much younger,’ psychology researcher Robert Reinhart of Boston University told reporters. ‘The negative age-related changes [in working memory] are not unchangeable.’
“For alternating current, delivered by electrodes embedded in a skull cap, to become a treatment for working memory deficits, however, it would have to overcome a long list of hurdles, starting with proof that it’s safe.”