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Volume XXXI
Summer / Fall

Our Generation

Brainpaths Fingertip Tracing: Improves Memory, Strengthens Synapse Connections

Fingertip Tracing


Memory loss results when Amyloid plaque builds up in the brain and impairs synaptic neuron connections. (Shankar GM, Li S, Lemere CA, et al. 2008.) To improve memory, synapse connections must be strengthened. Tracing Brainpaths textured devices accesses 3000 mechanoreceptors in each fingertip, providing a superhighway to the sensory cortex of the brain strengthening synapse connections, just like Braille.

Fingertip tracing to strengthen synapse connections, using repetitive fingertip-tracing exercises, was discovered in 1997 by Johns Hopkins Krieger Brain Institute. Through sensory stimulation and repetitious mind exercises resulting from repetitive finger movement, memory is increased, cognitive abilities improved, and anxiety, depression and stress released (

The costs of caring for people with dementia in the United States in 2010 were between $159 billion to $215 billion, and those costs could rise dramatically with the increase in the numbers of older people in coming decades. The researchers found these costs of care comparable to, if not greater than, those for heart disease and cancer. Rates of dementia increase with age, and unless new ways are found to treat and effectively prevent it, national health expenditures for dementia could come close to doubling by 2040, as the aging population increases and dementia remains the same.

Brainpaths device
Brainpaths device - Source: Brainpaths

Brainpaths devices are designed for the user to repeatedly trace paths using one or more fingertips, stimulating the users brain by accessing mechanoreceptors located under the skin of each fingertip. Brainpaths roots are founded in the discovery of Brain Plasticity: the ability of the brain to improve and repair. Before findings on Brain Plasticity, the brain was thought to be rigid: unable to repair. Brain plasticity is the ability of the nervous system to adapt to changed circumstances and find new ways of learning, sometimes after an injury or a stroke, but more commonly when acquiring a skill. Tracing Brainpaths, also provides a fine motor skills exercise for motor control and dexterity, involving small muscles in fingers and hands, needed for writing, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing.

It is known that repetition forms connections and that with proper stimulation, the synapses become stronger. During use electrical chemicals are sent out that make the connections stronger and more permanent. (Brain Development, Karen DeBord, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service). Wiring the brain: “Synapse additions” are not only sensitive to experience, but are actually driven by experience. It has been recognized that through sensory stimulation and repetitious mind exercises resulting from repetitive finger movement, memory may be increased, cognitive abilities improve, and anxiety, depression and stress released.

Sensory-plate. Credit: Judy Hollingshead
Sensory-plate. Credit: Judy Hollingshead

"These findings reveal that the enormous emotional and physical demands of caring for people with dementia are accompanied by the similarly imposing financial burdens of dementia care," said Richard J. Hodes, M.D. Director of the NIH's National Institute on Aging (NIA), which funded the analysis. "The national costs further compel us to do all we can to find effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias as soon as possible."

Research has clearly shown the importance of keeping the brain active with mazes, puzzles and other mental activities
Research has clearly shown the importance of keeping the brain active with mazes, puzzles and other mental activities. Source: Brainpaths

The Alzheimer's Association reports that more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer's in 2017 and this number could more than triple by 2050. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Brainpaths USPTO Patent 9.132,059 is exempt from Clinical Trials. However, new research opportunities are opening doors to new possibilities for treatment of dementia and memory disorders incorporating fingertip tracing to unlock the power of mechanoreceptors, providing a non-invasive superhighway to stimulate the sensory cortex of the brain and strengthen synapse connections.

Brainpaths can be contacted by calling 702-804-1112, or email to Visit https://brainpaths. com/contactbrainpaths/ to learn more.