Deep Brain Stimulation shows promise for patients with Alzheimer's

August 4, 2010

In a world first, Dr. Andres M. Lozano and his team at Toronto Western Hospital has shown using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on patients with early signs of Alzheimer's disease is safe and may help improve memory.

The phase one safety trial of six Ontario patients took place from 2005 to 2008. All patients left hospital within 2 to 3 days of surgery, and continue to participate in regular follow-up cognitive assessments.

Throughout these assessments, Dr. Lozano says half the patients continue to perform better than predicted - that is - their has improved, or deteriorated less than expected.

"While the study was not looking for efficacy, the results suggest that of the six patients, three may have done better than if the was allowed to run its course," commented Lozano. "We showed that not only is this a safe procedure, but that the evidence is there to warrant a bigger trial. Any amount of time that extends quality of life and quality years to someone with Alzheimer's may be a benefit."

Dr. Lozano first discovered the potential for DBS to treat Alzheimer's disease while treating a patient for using DBS back in 2003. While signaling areas of the brain, Dr. Lozano and his team triggered memories in the patient. In follow-up testing the patient's improved and Dr. Lozano set in motion the first ever DBS trial of patients with early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

"We've demonstrated this is safe, and that the evidence warrants more study. We're now planning a phase two, multi-centred trial - we're just waiting on the funding," says Dr. Lozano.

More information: Results of Dr. Lozano's trial are published in today's issue of Annals of Neurology.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Mechanism explains how seizures may lead to memory loss

October 16, 2017
Although it's been clear that seizures are linked to memory loss and other cognitive deficits in patients with Alzheimer's disease, how this happens has been puzzling. In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, ...

Study shows people find well-being more so from special places than from mementoes

October 16, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers at the University of Surrey has found that people experience a feeling of well-being when thinking about or visiting a place that holds special meaning to them. They also found that ...

New study describes how dopamine tells you it isn't worth the wait

October 16, 2017
How do we know if it was worth the wait in line to get a meal at the new restaurant in town? To do this our brain must be able to signal how good the meal tastes and associate this feeling with the restaurant. This is done ...

A dietary supplement dampens the brain hyperexcitability seen in seizures or epilepsy

October 14, 2017
Seizure disorders—including epilepsy—are associated with pathological hyperexcitability in brain neurons. Unfortunately, there are limited available treatments that can prevent this hyperexcitability. However, University ...

fMRI scans reveal why pain tolerance goes up during female orgasm and shows brain does not turn off

October 13, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers at Rutgers University has determined why women are able to tolerate more pain during the time leading up to and during orgasm. In their paper published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, ...

Neuroscientists identify genetic changes in microglia in a mouse model of neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease

October 13, 2017
Microglia, immune cells that act as the central nervous system's damage sensors, have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.