As we get older, we tend to forget things – where we left our keys, our neighbor's name or the word for a common household item. While forgetfulness is a normal sign of aging, declining memory function can accelerate and lead to irreversible brain damage.
Ying-hui Chou, a researcher in the University of Arizona Department of Psychology, was recently awarded a $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to learn more about how to prevent memory loss and enhance brain function in patients experiencing mild cognitive impairment.
Chou, director of the Brain Imaging and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Laboratory and assistant professor of cognition and neural systems, will combine her expertise in transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS – a non-invasive brain stimulation technology developed in the 1980s, with brain imaging techniques to develop a personalized, noninvasive treatment for people with mild cognitive impairment.
"Our goal is to see if we can enhance the plasticity of the brain," said, Chou, who also is an affiliate faculty member in the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute and a member of the BIO5 Institute. "If we are able to target the hippocampus and modulate the communication between it and other connected brain regions, that would be really beneficial."
Read the full article from UA News here