Deep Brain Stimulation shows promise for patients with Alzheimer's

September, 2010

A safety trial has shown that Deep Brain Stimulation is safe for those with mild Alzheimer’s, and may slow cognitive decline.

A pilot study involving six patients with mild Alzheimer’s has shown using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is safe and may help improve memory, or at least slow decline. Patients received continuous stimulation for 12 months, between 2005 and 2008. Impaired glucose utilization in the temporal and parietal lobes was dramatically reversed early in the treatment, and maintained after the year of continuous stimulation. Performance on cognitive tests showed possible improvement and/or slowing in the rate of cognitive decline at 6 and 12 months in three of the six patients.

The principal aim of this pilot study was to assess the safety of the procedure, and it is now hoped to move on to a larger study to assess its effectiveness. Anyone interested in more information about participating in the next phase should visit: http://www.uhn.on.ca/Focus_of_Care/KNC/Functional_Neurosurgery/research.asp.

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