Neural prosthetic device could help people recall memories

This research has been in the works for more than 20 years.

WStoday: neural prosthetic device to help recall memories

During the research, almost 40% of study participants showed significant changes in memory performance.

Photo via Wake Forest University School of Medicine

A new prosthetic device that is designed to help people recall memories is in the works — and it has a connection to the Twin City.

A team of scientists from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of Southern California (USC) successfully operated a neural prosthetic device. City Editor Kellina spoke with Dr. Brent Roeder, a research fellow involved with the research.

“The big impact of this study is that we were trying to reinforce or stimulate memory for specific information content,” Roeder said. “So helping you remember urgent things or like, ‘where are my car keys? Is the stove on? Did I take my morning medications?’'"

The device will assist — not treat — people with memory impairment, which can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions.

Currently, the neural prosthetic device looks like a computer cart about 5'10 inches. Roeder said the development is in the early stages and the device would not be operational for many years ahead.

“Eventually, the goal would be to have something that would be small that could be —implanted similar to a pacemaker,” Roeder said.