The perceived benefits of magnets and magnetic forms of treatment are numerous. Whilst magnetic therapy cynics quip that there is little scientific evidence that proves magnets are an effective medical treatment, there is a wealth of information that contradicts that sentiment with hundreds of people who have undergone magnetic treatment advocating its merits.
Silencing the magnetic therapy skeptics further was research carried out in 2007 that suggested that magnets may offer a way to boost mental performance. Could you really boost brain power with magnetic therapy?
According to a report on the BBC, scientists in New York encouraged the growth of new neurons in the brains of mice in the area of the brain that is associated with memory, by using a magnetic stimulus.
The scientists presented their research and findings at the American Academy for Neuroscience Conference and offered the idea that the results may lead to treating patients with Alzheimer’s.
The process, which involves using a magnetic coil to introduce electrical fields in the brain, which then either activate or deactivate neurons, has been described as being ‘encouraging’ but of course would need to be replicated in humans.
The researchers carried out a second study which involved giving mice Trans Cranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a technique that has been used for some time to treat disorders such as depression and to rehabilitate people who have had a stroke.
According to the BBC report, the scientists in New York found that there had been a significant increase in the proliferation of immature cells in the mice’s brains, the cells that develop into nerves and other tissue. These cells are known as stem cells, which are believed to play a critical role in regulating mood and improving the memory.
In a different study it was proven that the activity of stem cells decreases in Alzheimer’s sufferers and therefore if magnetic treatments such as TMS can increase the proliferation of stem cells, such treatments could go a long way in helping stroke victims or those suffering with Alzheimer’s.
As Professor Vincent Wash from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London said in response to the studies:
“The work is particularly encouraging for the use of brain stimulation in chronic disease such as stroke and dementia. The challenge now is to find ways of combining stimulation with drug therapies.”
Trion:Z United Kingdom | T: +44 (0) 844 561 6694 | F: +44 (0) 845 834 0975 | E: INFO@TRIONZ.CO.UK