Breaking News
April 21, 2018 - Developing cooking skills as young adult may have long-term health benefits
April 21, 2018 - Study compares survival outcomes of different drugs for type 2 diabetes
April 21, 2018 - More Than 40 Percent of Americans Breathe Dirty Air: Report
April 21, 2018 - Obstructive sleep apnea – Genetics Home Reference
April 21, 2018 - More evidence shows exposure to traffic and outdoor air pollution increases risk of asthma
April 21, 2018 - Novel gold nanoparticle technology could guide cancer treatment in real-time
April 21, 2018 - News coverage of Ebola impacted public’s perception on disease and survivors
April 21, 2018 - S.Africa’s DIY battle against HIV
April 21, 2018 - Children with autism have gastrointestinal and immune system deregulation, research finds
April 21, 2018 - Human brain processes sight and sound in the same way, shows study
April 21, 2018 - Evolutionary history of tumor helps predict severity of prostate cancer
April 21, 2018 - Pepper plant metabolizes antibiotic in personal care products
April 21, 2018 - Tradeshow Talks with Integra
April 21, 2018 - EPFL becomes part of Chan Zuckerberg’s project to develop Human Cell Atlas
April 21, 2018 - Pfizer Announces Positive Topline Results From Phase 3 ATTR-ACT Study Of Tafamidis In Patients With Transthyretin Cardiomyopathy
April 21, 2018 - Breaking through the HIV vaccine ‘logjam’
April 21, 2018 - IntelliCyt introduces new QSol buffer to enable robust, consistent sampling
April 21, 2018 - Scientists publish comprehensive lineage tree of whole adult animal in Science journal
April 21, 2018 - Innovative method based on FluidFM technology could revolutionize biological research
April 21, 2018 - Americans world’s biggest TV addicts, watching four hours a day
April 21, 2018 - Investigational drug may help increase protein levels in babies with spinal muscular atrophy
April 21, 2018 - Study shows distinctions between age groups in predicting and responding to stress at home
April 21, 2018 - Aziyo Biologics, BIOTRONIK enter into US co-distribution agreement
April 21, 2018 - Opiate Use Linked to Early Mortality in IBD Patients
April 21, 2018 - Online ads help pregnant smokers quit
April 21, 2018 - Opioid pain medications may not be safe for hemodialysis patients
April 21, 2018 - Rare variants in non-coding DNA inherited from parents heighten autism risk
April 21, 2018 - A needleless glucose monitor for diabetes patients
April 21, 2018 - BD introduces new informatics and automation solutions for clinical laboratories
April 21, 2018 - Turn Chores Into a Fitness Routine
April 21, 2018 - DNA methylation plays key role in stem cell differentiation
April 21, 2018 - Scientists find link between soil metals and cancer mortality
April 21, 2018 - Experts discuss implications of low calcium intake in global population
April 21, 2018 - GNA Biosolutions to display Pharos V8 Laser PCR instrument at Analytica trade fair
April 21, 2018 - People with vitamin D deficiency may be at greater risk of diabetes
April 21, 2018 - Study findings could open new possibilities for treating cancer with adenovirus
April 21, 2018 - People who use medical marijuana have higher rates of prescription drug use, study finds
April 21, 2018 - Study debunks ‘myth’ that strenuous exercise dampens immunity
April 21, 2018 - FDA approves marijuana based medication for epilepsy treatment
April 21, 2018 - Researchers find novel genes for longevity in mammals
April 21, 2018 - GNA Biosolutions and project partners launch new research project to develop TB diagnostic platform for POC applications
April 21, 2018 - $2 million funding boosts progress of UAB biomedical startup
April 21, 2018 - Scientists identify gene responsible for evolution of recombination rates
April 21, 2018 - UConn researchers develop new composite for healing broken load-bearing bones
April 21, 2018 - Study examines how higher-order gene combinations help maintain normal cell physiology
April 21, 2018 - Study challenges use of whole-brain radiation for small-cell lung cancer patients with brain metastases
April 21, 2018 - Researchers discover blood biomarkers that may help detect, confirm mild traumatic brain injury
April 21, 2018 - People who become physically active after heart attack more likely to live longer, shows research
April 21, 2018 - CPRIT awards $2 million grant to push forward breast cancer research in West Texas
April 21, 2018 - Unhealthy diet damages the development of immature fat cells, study shows
April 21, 2018 - Consumption of protein supplements with meals may provide better weight control
April 21, 2018 - 4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory
April 21, 2018 - How did gonorrhea become a drug-resistant superbug?
April 21, 2018 - DePuy Synthes announces clinical results related to use of CORAIL Hip System Femoral Stems
April 21, 2018 - New initiative launched to support goals of Human Cell Atlas
April 20, 2018 - Teen patient gets a new lease on life
April 20, 2018 - Cancer Australia launches new framework to improve outcomes for lung cancer patients
April 20, 2018 - ‘Gut-on-a-chip’ model recreates intestinal matrix critical for nutrient absorption
April 20, 2018 - Researchers develop new drug-testing platform for epilepsy
April 20, 2018 - FDA Alert: NxtGen Botanicals Maeng Da Kratom by NGB Corp.: Recall
April 20, 2018 - Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease type 1 – Genetics Home Reference
April 20, 2018 - Tick-borne diseases reach epidemic levels, panel says
April 20, 2018 - A potential “male pill” without side effects
April 20, 2018 - Researchers discover new information related to rare form of leukemia
April 20, 2018 - Researchers find crucial links between dopamine and avoidance behavior
April 20, 2018 - UGA scientist creates system for efficient detection of foodborne pathogens
April 20, 2018 - Social Support of Autonomy Tied to Better Glycemic Control in DM
April 20, 2018 - Study reports use of nutritional ketosis with mobile app intervention could reverse Type 2 diabetes
April 20, 2018 - New microscopy techniques allow quasi-biochemical studies on living T cells
April 20, 2018 - Study shows connection between muscular strength and brain health
April 20, 2018 - Ecolab introduces Life Sciences cleanroom program in North America
April 20, 2018 - Normal weight people with fat belly may have more chance of heart problems
April 20, 2018 - Male fruit flies like sex and alcohol
April 20, 2018 - Meditation could help reduce anxiety levels and some heart health risk factors
April 20, 2018 - Improving job prospects unlikely to control opioid epidemic
April 20, 2018 - Skin Sensor Might Someday Track Alcoholics’ Booze Intake
April 20, 2018 - The relevance of GABA for diabetes highlighted in two new studies
April 20, 2018 - Novel method enables fast and noninvasive assessment of tumor status
April 20, 2018 - IU psychologist receives NIH grant to study earliest phases of language learning in children
April 20, 2018 - Walking fast lowers risk of hospitalization in heart patients, shows study
Study of brain pacemaker shows promise in slowing decline of Alzheimer’s

Study of brain pacemaker shows promise in slowing decline of Alzheimer’s

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Tom Moore takes care of his wife LaVonne, who has Alzheimer’s disease. A new study shows that an implanted pacemaker that sends electrical stimulation to LaVonne’s brain slowed the progression of her symptoms, allowing her to retain functionality longer. Credit: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

While most treatments for Alzheimer’s disease focus on improving memory, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center conducted a study aimed at slowing the decline of problem-solving and decision-making skills in these patients.

For the first time ever, thin electrical wires were surgically implanted into the frontal lobes of the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease to determine if using a brain pacemaker could improve cognitive, behavioral, and functional abilities in patients with this form of dementia.

The deep brain stimulation (DBS) implant is similar to a cardiac pacemaker device, except that the pacemaker wires are implanted in the brain rather than the heart.

Findings of the study are published online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“We have many memory aides, tools and pharmaceutical treatments to help Alzheimer’s patients with memory, but we don’t have anything to help with improving their judgments, making good decisions, or increasing their ability to selectively focus attention on the task at hand and avoid distractions. These skills are necessary in performing daily tasks such as making the bed, choosing what to eat and having meaningful socializing with friends and family,” said Dr. Douglas Scharre, co-author of the study and director of the Division of Cognitive Neurology at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center’s Neurological Institute.

Patients with surgical implant retain functionality longer, improve quality of life. Credit: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

“The frontal lobes are responsible for our abilities to solve problems, organize and plan, and utilize good judgments. By stimulating this region of the brain, the Alzheimer’s subjects cognitive and daily functional abilities as a whole declined more slowly than Alzheimer’s patients in a matched comparison group not being treated with DBS,” he said.

The pilot study found that DBS targeting frontal brain regions can reduce the overall performance decline typically seen in people with mild or early stage Alzheimer’s, Scharre said.

Scharre is a neurologist who focuses on treating patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. He collaborated with Dr. Ali Rezai, a neurosurgeon who specializes in neuromodulation, to conduct this clinical trial.

“This same technology has been successfully used to treat more than 135,000 patients worldwide with Parkinson’s disease. Our findings suggest that frontal network modulation to improve executive and behavioral deficits should be further studied in patients with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Rezai, the former director of Ohio State’s Neurological Institute who is now leading the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University.

All three study participants showed improvement, including LaVonne Moore, 85, of Delaware, Ohio. When she entered the study in 2013, she was not doing any meal preparation. After two years of deep-brain stimulation, she could independently initiate preparations of a simple meal, assemble ingredients and cook the meal.

Dr. Douglas Scharre examines Alzheimer’s patient LaVonne Moore. She was part of a pilot study at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to test how deep brain stimulation may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms.LaVonne and Tom Moore look at family photo albums together. After 65 years of marriage, Tom is now taking care of LaVonne, who has Alzheimer’s Disease. However, the progression of the disease has been slower than a typical Alzheimer’s patient after she received deep brain stimulation in the frontal lobes of her brain during a pilot study at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.Dr. Douglas Scharre reviews a brain scan of an Alzheimer’s patient. He co-led a study at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to explore how deep brain stimulation may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms and allow patients to retain functionality longer. Credit: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

She was able to organize an outing, including arranging transportation and destination, planning for the weather and bringing the needed money. She also regained independence to select her clothing attire, researchers noted.

Her 89-year-old husband, Tom Moore, said her Alzheimer’s disease has progressed, but more slowly than he expected. “LaVonne has had Alzheimer’s disease longer than anybody I know, and that sounds negative, but it’s really a positive thing because it shows that we’re doing something right,” Moore said. She didn’t hesitate to volunteer for the study, he added.

He said she told him: “I will do anything to help others not go through what I’m going through.”

Next, Ohio State researchers want to explore non-surgical methods to stimulate the frontal lobe, which would be a less invasive treatment option to slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of degenerative dementia, affecting more than 5 million Americans. By 2050, this number could rise as high as 16 million, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The disease – which has no cure and is not easily managed – becomes progressively disabling with loss of memory, cognition and worsening behavioral function, in addition to a gradual loss of independent functioning, Scharre said.


Explore further:
Ohio State implants first brain pacemaker to treat Alzheimer’s

Journal reference:
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

Provided by:
The Ohio State University

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles