So, it turns out that our nervous system needs a certain amount of stimulus from electrical noise.
Recent research has highlighted the fact that signals in the nervous system need to contain just the right amount of background noise to work properly. As the brain ages, the levels of background noise decrease, and this decrease is believed to be significantly greater when dopamine nerve cells are lost, as is the case in Parkinson’s disease.
(from a news article on healthcanal.com)
… especially for us Parkies.
Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden, have studied the effect of “noise stimulation of the balance organs” via external electrodes on “hemiparkinsonian” rats. They conclude:
SVS [Stochastic vestibular stimulation] improves rod performance in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease, possibly by increasing nigral GABA release in a dopamine independent way. We propose that SVS could be useful for treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Ghazaleh Samoudi, Hans Nissbrandt, Mayank B. Dutia and Filip Bergquist, “Noisy Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation Promotes GABA Release in the Substantia Nigra and Improves Locomotion in Hemiparkinsonian Rats”
The Health Canal article adds that the researchers are to continue the research, in collaboration with NASA, with a pilot study of SVS applied to people with Parkinson’s.
“We are collaborating with a research group at NASA that has developed a portable stimulator unit for the balance organs. They use it to study the rehabilitation of astronauts who have lived in weightless conditions”, says Filip Bergquist.
Hmm. Maybe I should have illustrated this post with a rocket instead of a guitar. (The guitar is not really relevant, although it was the first thing I thought of when the phrase “electrical noise” was mooted.)