Scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have found a new way to treat dementia by sending electrical impulses to specific areas of the brain to enhance the growth of new brain cells.

The new treatment, known as deep brain stimulation, is a therapeutic procedure that is already used in some parts of the world to treat various neurological conditions such as tremors or dystonia, Xinhua reported.

NTU scientists have discovered that deep brain stimulation could also be used to enhance the growth of brain cells which mitigates the harmful effects of dementia-related conditions and improves short and long-term memory.

Their research has shown that new brain cells, or neurons, can be formed by stimulating the front part of the brain which is involved in memory retention using minute amounts of electricity.

"The increase in brain cells reduces anxiety and depression and promotes improved learning, and boosts overall memory formation and retention," it said.

"Extensive studies have shown that rats' brains and memory systems are very similar to humans," said Assistant Professor Ajai Vyas from NTU 's School of Biological Sciences.

"The findings from the research clearly show the potential of enhancing the growth of brain cells using deep brain stimulation."

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