Alzheimer’s patients may not remember the date and slowly forget a lot of things. Recent studies have shown that brain atrophy caused by Alzheimer’s disease can be reversed by deep brain stimulation in some cases.
Can Alzheimer’s disease be reversed by deep brain electrical stimulation?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common Alzheimer’s disease. The brain atrophy caused by this disease can be reversed in some cases by giving electric shocks to degraded tissues. In addition, this may also reduce the cognitive decline associated with the disease.
Andres Lozano of Toronto Western Hospital, Canada, said that in Alzheimer’s disease, the brain, especially the hippocampus, shrinks. In addition, brain scans showed that the patient’s temporal lobe and another area called the posterior cingulate gyrus consumed less glucose than normal, indicating that these areas were shut down. Both regions play an important role in memory.
To reverse these degenerative effects, Losano and his team used deep brain stimulation (DBS) to apply electrical signals to the brain by implanting electrodes.
The researchers put electrodes into the brains of six people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a year or more ago. The electrodes are placed next to a bunch of nerve cells in the brain called fornix, which connect the hippocampus. The electrode is left here, releasing 130 tiny electrical stimuli per second.
A follow-up test after 1 year showed that the problem of reduced glucose consumption in the temporal lobe and posterior cingulate gyrus was reversed in 6 people. >
At the annual meeting of the society of neuroscience held in Washington, D.C., on November 12-16, the researchers said they had begun to study the effect of this method on the hippocampus. Among the six people, the hippocampus shrank in four and grew in two.
Losano said that the hippocampus of the two people not only did not shrink, but also grew up. One person grew by 5% and the other by 8%. The test also showed that these two people seemed to perform better than expected in cognitive function, although the other four did not perform well.
Researchers don’t know why this treatment works, but the team’s recent experiments in mice suggest that electrical stimulation may promote the generation of new neurons in the brain. Deep electrical stimulation of the mouse brain also stimulates protein production, prompting neurons to form new connections.
Researchers are now embarking on an experiment involving about 50 people. Losano pointed out that about 90000 Parkinson’s patients worldwide are already receiving deep brain stimulation. If this method can be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, it may also be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.