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March 06, 2013

New hope for Alzheimer's patients


The first U.S. experiments with "brain pacemakers" for Alzheimer's are getting under way. Scientists are looking beyond drugs to implants in the hunt for much-needed new treatments.
The research is in its infancy. Only a few dozen people with early-stage Alzheimer's will be implanted in a handful of hospitals (as of Mid January 2013). No one knows if it might work, and if it does, how long the effects might last.More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's or similar dementias, and that number is expected to rise rapidly as the baby boomers age. Today's drugs only temporarily help some symptoms. Attempts to attack Alzheimer's presumed cause, a brain-clogging gunk, so far haven't panned out.The new approach is called deep brain stimulation, or DBS. While it won't attack Alzheimer's root cause either, "maybe we can make the brain work better," said Dr. Douglas Scharre - Ohio State neurologist.Similar experiments are reported at the University of British Columbia and John Hopkins University.The procedure requires implanting electrodes in the brain and send puses from battery-powered generator near the collarbone , sending the tiny shocks up patients neck and into their brain.


See  another related article about the effect of Cycling therapy for Parkinson's.








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