During a five-hour surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Kathy Sanford became the first Alzheimer’s patient in the United States to have a pacemaker implanted in her brain.
She is the first of up to 10 patients who will be enrolled in an FDA-approved study at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center to determine if using a brain pacemaker can improve cognitive and behavioral functioning in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The study employs the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS), the same technology used to successfully treat about 100,000 patients worldwide with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. In the study, researchers hope to determine whether DBS surgery can improve function governed by the frontal lobe and neural networks involved in cognition and behavior by stimulating certain areas of the brain with a pacemaker.
Dr. Douglas Scharre, neurologist and director of the division of cognitive neurology, and Dr. Ali Rezai, neurosurgeon and director of the neuroscience program, both at Wexner Medical Center, are conducting the study.
The deep brain stimulation implant is similar to a cardiac pacemaker device with the exception that the pacemaker wires are implanted in the brain rather than the heart. “Basically, the pacemakers send tiny signals into the brain that regulate the abnormal activity of the brain and normalize it more,” says Rezai.
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medicalcenter.osu.edu – Ohio State Implants First Brain Pacemaker To Treat Alzheimer’s
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techreleased.com – johns hopkins surgeons implant first brain pacemaker for alzheimers
This technology, deep brain stimulation (DBS), is very similar to Vagus Nerve Stimulation. The world of neurological disorders and mental disorders are colliding. Never understand the separation. Both are illnesses of the brain.