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[翻译]Health Report - Electric Shocks to the Brain May Help Older People’s Memory

更新时间:2019/4/24 20:04:59 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

A special device worn on the head that sends electrical charges into the brain may improve the memory abilities of older people. The device may even give them the ability to remember things as well as a person 20 to 30 years younger than them.

一种可以将电荷输入大脑的特殊头戴式设备也许可以增强老年人的记忆能力。这种设备甚至能够赋予他们比他们年轻二三十岁的人一样的记忆能力。

These are the findings of a study released in the scientific publication Nature Neuroscience earlier this month.

这是本月早些时候《自然神经科学》科学杂志上发表的一项研究结果。

Researchers working on the study found that the age-related damage to working memory can be repaired. This is possible, they found, through stimulating two important areas of the brain at a special rhythm.

这项研究的研究人员发现,与年龄相关的工作记忆损伤可以被修复。他们发现,通过以特殊频率刺激大脑的两个重要区域就可能实现这一点。

Working memory is the information held temporarily for use in immediate activities such as reasoning and decision-making.

工作记忆是指暂时保存的信息,这些信息用于推理和决策等即时活动。

The study involved 42 younger adults aged 20 to 29 and 42 older adults aged 60 to 76. The researchers tested all subjects for their performance in a working-memory activity.

这项研究涉及了42名年龄在20到29岁的年轻人,以及42名年龄在60到76岁的老年人。研究人员测试了所有研究对象工作记忆活动的表现。

The findings are still early and only relate to healthy volunteers. But the findings could point to new ways to increase brain operation in older people suffering from diseases that affect these operations, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.

这项研究结果仍处于早期阶段,仅涉及到健康的志愿者。但是该研究结果可能指明了一条可以提高老年人大脑运作的新途径,这些老年人患有影响大脑运作的疾病,例如痴呆症和阿尔茨海默病患者。

Electroencephalography, or EEG, is a method of observing brain activity. Transcranial alternating-current stimulation, or tACS, is the means of sending electrical charges into the brain. Using both EEG and tACS, the scientists stimulated the brains of the group of young and old people. They were able to make small changes to the brainwave connections linked to their working memory.

脑电图是一种观察大脑活动的方法, 经颅交流电刺激(简称tACS)是一种将电荷输入大脑的手段。利用脑电图和经颅交流电刺激,科学家们刺激了年轻组和老年组的大脑。他们能对跟工作记忆相关的脑波进行微小调整。

Without brain stimulation, the older people were slower and less correct in their memories than the younger ones.

未经大脑刺激时,老年人的记忆力比年轻人更慢,正确率也更低。

This was because the younger people had higher levels of connections of certain brain wave rhythms, the researchers said. This suggests that centering the treatment on these types of rhythms in the older people’s brains might help their operations.

研究人员表示,这是因为年轻人的特定脑电波频率具有很高的关联性。这表明,针对老年人大脑的这类频率进行治疗可能有助于大脑运作。

Robert Reinhart is a researcher at Boston University. He co-led the study. He said that when older adults received active brain stimulation, they improved their working-memory test scores to the levels of the younger people. The effect lasted for at least 50 minutes after the stimulation was given.

罗伯特·莱因哈特(Robert Reinhart)是波士顿大学的一名研究人员,也是这项研究的联合带头人。他说,当老年人受到积极的脑刺激时,能将他们的工作记忆测试分数提高到年轻人的水平。在给予刺激后,效果持续了至少50分钟。

Reinhart said that the findings open up new possibilities for research. But he had no immediate suggestions for the findings’ use in medicine.

莱因哈特表示,该研究结果为研究开辟了新的可能性。但他对这项研究结果的医学用途并没有什么迫切建议。

“Much more basic science has to be done first,” he added.

他说:“首先必须完成更多的基础科学研究。”

Neuroscientists agreed that the findings raised interesting questions about how working memory operates, and how it worsens with age. But they also agree that more research is needed before the treatment can be developed for wider use.

神经科学学家们一致认为,这些研究结果了提出了一些有趣的问题,例如工作记忆的运作,以及它如何随着年龄增长而恶化。但是他们也赞同,在该疗法能够更广泛运用之前,需要进行更多研究。

I’m Pete Musto.

Words in This Story

stimulating – v. making something more active

rhythm – n. a regular, repeated pattern of sounds or movements
certain – adj. used to refer to something or someone that is not named specifically

basic – adj. forming or relating to the most important part of something
neuroscientist(s) – n. an expert in the scientific study of nerves and especially of how nerves affect learning and behavior

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