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Possible Treatment for Memory Issues

Possible Treatment for Memory Issues

For people who’ve had a traumatic brain injury (TBI), memory issues can be not only troubling but disabling. They often have trouble remembering what they read five minutes ago, or what they were told five minutes ago, which impacts their ability to live independently and work.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Clinical Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania tested a potential treatment that involved delivering a pulse of electricity to the right spot in the brain at the right time to improve memory. According to a recently published article, it worked in a group of people with moderate or severe TBIs.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were studying memory and epilepsy. As part of their research, they recruited some patients with epilepsy who already had surgically implanted electrodes as part of their treatment, to do the mapping of electrical signals associated with retrieving – or failing to retrieve – a memory. They devised a way to deliver a precisely timed pulse of electricity to an area of the brain involved in encoding memory and began to see positive changes. 

When the researchers at the TBI Clinical Research Center saw the improvements in memory scores, they approached their colleagues about conducting the same research with persons with moderate to severe brain injury. This study, just like the first one, relied on patients who were being evaluated for surgery to treat severe epilepsy, which meant they already had the electrodes in place.

The results from the very small group of test subjects suggested a precisely timed pulse to a brain area just behind the ear improved recall by about 20 percent and reduced the person’s memory deficit by about half.

This is an exciting development, and it could result in meaningful change in their lives and functional improvement for those who deal with memory issues after TBI.

If you’ve had a brain injury because of another’s negligence, it’s important to understand your legal rights. The experienced personal injury lawyers with Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci can help you understand your options for compensation; call us.

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