Deep Brain Stimulation May Improve Symptoms in Alzheimer’s

May 23, 2012 — Deep brain stimulation (DBS), a therapy already approved for use in Parkinson’s disease, may also be useful for treating some patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a pilot study suggests.

After 1 year of continuous DBS, a clinically meaningful increase in cerebral metabolism in the hippocampal area was observed in 1 of the 5 patients, lead author Gwenn Smith, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, told Medscape Medical News.

Curb Eating, Improve Memory

“The idea to try deep brain stimulation came from a single individual who had morbid obesity and who underwent DBS to try and curb his eating behavior,” Dr. Smith said. “Even though that individual did not have a memory problem at baseline, when the electrodes were turned on, he showed a substantial improvement in memory.” [Read more…]