Deep Brain Stimulation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Read a review on the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS). Wrote a lot of posts about this new treatment on this blog, mostly for treatment resistant depression. As with most new treatment options the new treatment is tried with other severe diseases. You can probably find some on this blog or down this post in the related posts section. The use of DBS in Alzheimer’s disease drew my attention. Stimulating certain brain regions in a disease with a neurodegenerative character seems almost impossible.

This review was written by members of the Canadian group who also published about the use of DBS in treatment resistant depression. They stimulated certain brain regions serving cognitive and memory functions (the fornix, part of the Papez memory circuit) in six patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

After 1 year of chronic high-frequency stimulation, glucose hypometabolism within the temporoparietal cortex that is characteristic of the diseased brain was largely reversed

Two patients improved on the Mini Mental State Examination, three others declined and one was unchanged. The average decline on points of the MMSE suggest a delay of this cognitive decline for these patients.

It was just a pilot study and needs further research. The authors have started a large multicenter trial

J. Schouenborg, M. Garwicz and N. Danielsen (Eds.)
Progress in Brain Research, Vol. 194
Deep brain stimulation: emerging indications
Travis S. Tierney, Tejas Sankar and Andres M. Lozano