Early research indicates brain stimulation might be effective for older Alzheimer’s patients with mild symptoms. However, a lot more study is still needed.
Sending electronic pulses through a brain that is being damaged by Alzheimer’s disease might become a new method of early treatment.
“Deep brain stimulation (DBS) implants have been used for over 30 years, mostly to treat the tremors of Parkinson’s disease patients,” Dr. Doug Scharre, director of the Division of Cognitive Neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Healthline.
Scharre notes that while DBS treatment is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Parkinson’s disease, it’s still an experimental therapy when it comes to Alzheimer’s.
Lozano’s phase II trial directed stimulation at the fornix, a bundle of nerve fibers in the brain.
Hendrix did note this latest research involved a relatively small study group.
“The main aim was to look at safety in people with mild Alzheimer’s disease, and it does appear to be safe,” Hendrix said. “We just need more research to be done in this area before we can say for sure if this is going to be an effective treatment.”
“One of the most promising areas of research that’s ongoing right now is the research into biomarkers,” said Hendrix.
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