According to The World Alzheimer report, there were 46.8 million cases of dementia, with the economic cost of the disease being $818 billion, ie, 1.09% of the global GDP. But what is scary is that this is expected to double every 20 years. With demographic aging playing its part in economies like India and China, the total population with dementia is expected to increase to 131.5 million in 2050. Although there have been no drugs to prevent dementia, scientists may have found a cure to save some of your memory if not all. A research led by the University of Pennsylvania and published in Current Biology highlights that pacemaker-like electrical impulses may be able to save some part of the memory in cases of dementia, head injuries and other conditions.
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Although this is not the first research with implanted electrodes, but the results of this study vary completely from others in the past. While most studies related to electrical implants were inconclusive, scientists, in this case, were able to discern how the mind works in different situations. So, while electrical impulses played a negative role when the memory was good—recognition was 15-20% worse than actual—in the bad case, it leads to a 12-13% improvement in cognition. Conducted on epilepsy patients the results can easily be replicated for other groups.
Although the research certainly does provide a clear solution, what is still foggy is whether long periods of treatment would actually prove effective. Or if the treatment would be able to beat the rapid memory loss which at times occurs in these cases. Nevertheless, it shows a way to treatment for a growing class of the population.