Brain pacemakers for Alzheimer's?

5 years ago

You read it correctly. What's good for the heart is (possibly) good for the brain. Scientists are now trying out the pacemaker idea on a patient with Alzheimer's, hoping to slow its effects.

Kathy Sanford is only 57, but already she has early onset Alzheimer's and knows it's gradually getting worse. She still lives alone but can't work anymore and has to post reminders to herself.

At Ohio State University, doctors drilled holes in her skull and connected electrical wires to the parts of her brain involved in thinking and memory to give them constant stimulation. She'll be tracked for two years.

There's already been some similar testing done in Canada. Six Alzheimer's patients had electrical implants and after a year of continuous stimulation, their brains had more activity in the areas that had been targeted by Alzheimer's. One man, who had the implants for four years, hasn't deteriorated at all!

Other tests are underway now.

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