First brain pacemaker implanted to treat Alzheimer’s.

 

First brain pacemaker implanted to treat Alzheimer’s.

During a five-hour surgery last October at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, a patient became the first Alzheimer’s patient in the United States to have a pacemaker implanted in her brain as part of an ongoing study.

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.