In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on memory performance and brain activity in elders presenting with subjective memory complaints and a memory performance within the low normal range. Forty participants underwent 2 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) sessions, in which they were administered 2 equivalent face-name memory tasks. Following each fMRI, subjects were asked to pair faces with their corresponding proper name. In-between, high-frequency rTMS was applied randomly using real or sham stimulation in a double-blind design. Only subjects who received active rTMS improved in associative memory significantly. This was accompanied by additional recruitment of right prefrontal and bilaterial posterior cortical regions at the second fMRI session, relative to baseline scanning. Our findings reflect a potentiality of rTMS to recruit compensatory networks, which participate during the memory-encoding process. Present results represent the first evidence that rTMS is capable of transitorily and positively influencing brain function and cognition among elders with memory complaints. © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
- Associative memory task
- Face-name memory encoding
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Repetive transcranial magnetic stimulation