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Deep Brain Stimulation May Hold Promise for Mild Alzheimer's Disease
Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:19 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: Newswise) - A small study of people with suspected mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) suggests that a device that sends continuous electrical impulses to specific "memory" regions of the brain increases neuronal activity.

"While our study was designed mainly to establish safety, involved only six people and needs to be replicated on a larger scale, we don't have another treatment for AD at present that shows such promising effects on brain function," said Gwenn Smith, Ph.D.


One month and one year after implanting a device that allows for continuous electrical impulses to the brain, Smith and colleagues performed PET scans to detect changes in brain cells' metabolism of glucose. They found that patients with mild forms of AD showed sustained increases in glucose metabolism, an indicator of neuronal activity.


The increases, the researchers say, were larger than those found in patients who have taken the drugs currently marketed to fight AD progression. Other imaging studies have shown that a decrease in glucose metabolism over the course of a year is typical in AD.


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