This Brain Stimulation Method Enhances Motor Skills Learning Of Older Adults

Jul, 2022 - By SMI

This Brain Stimulation Method Enhances Motor Skills Learning Of Older Adults

According to a new study, non-invasive brain stimulation can help in faster restoration of optimal motor skill learning in people with age-related weakened learning capabilities

Throughout their lifespan humans keep learning new skills as they age; however after a point these learning capabilities of humans get weaker with old age. Now in a new study conducted by a team of scientists at EPFL they found that with non-invasive electric brain stimulation, ability of learning new motor skills in older adults can be improved much faster.

In younger people, learning new skills is often fast and easy. However, it becomes harder to learn a new skill and it takes longer than usual when people get older. Thus, in this new study, the researchers investigated a promising way in order to help elderly learn new motor skills with more efficiency and speed. The team tested a technique known as anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (DCS) that uses a gentle electric current for stimulating specific brain parts. In past research, this technique has been found to be helping increase math skills, learning and memory in people.

In this new study, the researchers trained cohorts of younger and older people and tested them on a finger-tapping task that involves typing out a number sequence as rapidly as possible. This tasks tested dexterity of a subject and shows their improvement throughout the time in the exchange between accuracy and speed. Younger group as expected was fast to learn and it took time for older group. However, when the researchers applied atDCS to the older subjects, they found that it improved their learning markedly. Accuracy of this group was improved much faster and sooner in the training, which resembled to the ability of the younger group.

According to the researchers, these findings may lead to atDCS being a non-invasive method to improve mental functions that are deteriorating due to conditions such as stroke or aging.

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