Illustration for article titled Electrical Shocks to the Brain Slow Down Gamers, May Speed Up Parkinsons Patients

Researchers somehow found volunteers to willing accept electrical shocks while playing video games. Ooook. The study's mostly good news though: Small zaps to the brain might help Parkinson's patients. The bad news? They'd turn us into bad video game players.

What researchers did to come to those conclusions is generate a "small electrical current in the brains of 14 healthy volunteers using scalp electrodes. The current increased the activity of normal beta waves." Bit freaky, but those folks volunteered for the research. What's truly freaky is this:

The current increased the activity of normal beta waves, and slowed the volunteers' reaction times by 10 percent.


So, how is all of this good news for Parkinson's patients? This study and result might actually lead to improvements on already existing "brain pacemaker" by using "oscillating current that more closely mimics normal brain waves, as opposed to constant brain stimulation." Those "brain pacemakers" help limit involuntary movements as well as improving on the ability to make voluntary ones. Here's hoping that this research will continue to improve the quality of life for those suffering from Parkinson's and similar degenerative disorders. [Discover]

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