Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electrical stimulation of brain boosts birth of new cells: Animal study suggests deep brain stimulation improves memory

Date:
September 22, 2011
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Stimulating a specific region of the brain leads to the production of new brain cells that enhance memory, according to an animal study. The findings show how deep brain stimulation -- a clinical intervention that delivers electrical pulses to targeted areas of the brain -- may work to improve cognition.

Mice who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) to a region in the brain called the entorhinal cortex showed an enhanced ability to learn how to navigate to a designated target. This image shows DBS mice (S) spent a greater amount of time (indicated in red) swimming near a submerged landing (dotted circle) compared with non-stimulated mice (NS).
Credit: Reprinted with permission: Stone, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience 2011

Stimulating a specific region of the brain leads to the production of new brain cells that enhance memory, according to an animal study in the September 21 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings show how deep brain stimulation (DBS) -- a clinical intervention that delivers electrical pulses to targeted areas of the brain -- may work to improve cognition.

Related Articles


"DBS has been quite effective for the treatment of movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, and has recently been explored for treatment of a range of neurologic and psychiatric conditions," said Paul Frankland, PhD, of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), senior author of the study. "These new findings have important clinical implications as they inform potential treatments for humans with memory disorders."

Throughout life, new cells are born in parts of the hippocampus, the brain's learning and memory center. In the new study, Frankland and his colleagues found that one hour of electrical stimulation to the entorhinal cortex -- a region that directly communicates with the hippocampus -- in adult mice led to a two-fold increase in new cells in the hippocampus. Although the burst of new cells lasted for only about one week, the cells produced during this time window developed normally and made connections with other nearby brain cells.

Six weeks later, the researchers evaluated whether the newly integrated cells produced changes in memory. The authors tested how well the animals learned to navigate onto a landing submerged in a small pool of water. Compared with mice that did not receive the therapy, DBS mice spent more time swimming near the landing, suggesting that stimulation of the entorhinal cortex improved spatial learning.

"To date, the neurobiological basis for the clinical effect of DBS has not been well understood," said Daniel A. Peterson, PhD, of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, an expert on stem cells and brain repair who was unaffiliated with the study. "This study suggests that the stimulation of specific brain circuitry may result in the development of new functional brain cells in particular brain regions."

In a related preliminary study, researchers led by Andres Lozano, MD, PhD, of Toronto Western Hospital, recently published a Phase I clinical trial showing that DBS of the fornix, a brain region that also communicates directly with the hippocampus, slows cognitive decline in some people with dementia and other cognitive impairments. "The pro-cognitive effects of deep brain stimulation in human patients may result from the production of new neurons," Frankland said.

The research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. S. D. Stone, C. M. Teixeira, L. M. DeVito, K. Zaslavsky, S. A. Josselyn, A. M. Lozano, P. W. Frankland. Stimulation of Entorhinal Cortex Promotes Adult Neurogenesis and Facilitates Spatial Memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 2011; 31 (38): 13469 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3100-11.2011

Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Electrical stimulation of brain boosts birth of new cells: Animal study suggests deep brain stimulation improves memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920173345.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2011, September 22). Electrical stimulation of brain boosts birth of new cells: Animal study suggests deep brain stimulation improves memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920173345.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Electrical stimulation of brain boosts birth of new cells: Animal study suggests deep brain stimulation improves memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110920173345.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins