Brain pacemaker could help cure Alzheimer’s

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jan 31, 2018, 12:21 pm IST
Updated Jan 31, 2018, 12:21 pm IST
New research shows implant being fitted directly into patients’ skulls.
The research which was carried out in three patients saw that symptoms improved after the device - similar to a heart pacemaker - was fitted directly into their skulls. (Photo: Pixabay)
 The research which was carried out in three patients saw that symptoms improved after the device - similar to a heart pacemaker - was fitted directly into their skulls. (Photo: Pixabay)

According to a new study, a pioneering new ‘brain pacemaker’ can now slow down the progression ob Alzheimer’s by increasing a patient’s attention and focus.

The research which was carried out in three patients saw that symptoms improved after the device - similar to a heart pacemaker - was fitted directly into their skulls.

 

Researchers were 'encouraged' after one of the sufferers can now cook a meal - a simple task she was completely unable to do before the trial.

The surgery involves drilling holes in the skull and implanting thin electrical wires into the frontal lobes of the brains. It is already used to reverse cognitive decline in more than 135,000 people with Parkinson's disease.

The research was conducted by the Ohio State University who were the first to attempt at using the gadget for dementia, which came back with promising results.

Dr Douglas Scharre, co-author of the research, suggested that it offers a whole new approach to combating the devastating condition.

Speaking about the endeavour, he said, “We have many memory aides, tools and pharmaceutical treatments to help Alzheimer's patients with memory.”

Dr Scharre said the pilot study shows promise in enabling Alzheimer's patients to retain mental function for longer - improving their quality of life.

Most treatments focus on improving memory, but his team aimed at slowing the decline of problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Researchers implanted the device in the hope of boosting their cognitive and behavioural skills. The findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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