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Inhibitory control can be boosted with non-invasive brain stimulation

June 16, 2011 - Washington

A study has found that patients' inhibitory control can be greatly improved with a mild form of non-invasive brain stimulation.

A research team led by Dr Chi-Hung Juan of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University in Taiwan conducted the study.

The study demonstrates that when a weak electrical current is applied over the front of participants' scalps for ten minutes, it greatly improved their ability to process responses - effectively jumpstarting the brain's ability to control impulsivity.

The treatment has the potential to serve as a non-invasive treatment for patients with conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette's syndrome, drug addictions, or violent impulsivity.

"The findings that electrical stimulation to the brain can improve control of their behavioural urges not only provide further understanding of the neural basis of inhibitory control but also suggest a possible therapeutic intervention method for clinical populations, such as those with drug additions or ADHD, in the future," Juan, who led the research team, noted.

The study has been published in the June 2011 issue of Neuroimage, Elsevier's Journal of Brain Function.


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