I've written before about how magnets can affect your body. This often sounds a bit like quackery to people when they first hear about it. But when you understand that your body not only exists within the Earth's magnetic field, but also produces tiny magnetic fields of its own, it begins to make more sense.
Your body uses magnetic fields to move ions and electrolytes through your cells. So disruptions in these magnetic fields can cause significant dips in your energy levels. Optimizing your magnetic fields can have a number of benefits, from increasing circulation to decreasing inflammation. And new research being conducted at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University is showing that magnets can even help your memory function — a promising finding for the treatment of dementia.
There's a neural network inside the brain called the dorsal stream that controls auditory memory. This refers to your ability to remember sounds (including the sounds that make up speech). The dorsal stream produces theta waves, which are rhythmic electrical pulses. And since these pulses are electrical, magnets can manipulate them. The researchers decided to investigate whether such manipulation could boost auditory memory.
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The researchers had 17 participants complete auditory memory tasks that involved recognizing a pattern of tones after it was reversed. As they worked on the tasks, the researchers monitored their theta waves. They then had the participants repeat the tasks while receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) at the same theta frequency.
With the TMS, the participants did better on the tasks – as long as the TMS matched their natural theta rhythms. When it was arrhythmic, they performed similarly to their initial results. The researchers are excited about these findings, saying, “Now we know human behavior can be specifically boosted using stimulation that matched ongoing, self-generated brain oscillations. Even more exciting is that while this study investigated auditory memory, the same approach can be used for multiple cognitive processes, such as vision, perception, and learning. The results are very promising and offer a pathway for future treatments.”
I'm excited to see what else they come up with in this line of investigation. I think magnet therapy offers a lot of promise for patients struggling with memory issues. I'll be reporting back with the latest findings as they develop.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD