Thursday, January 31, 2008

New treatment might help Alzheimer's Patients


On Wednesday, Jan. 30, ABC "World News Tonight" (with Charles Gibson) presented a sensational medical story about how deep brain electrical stimulation surgery could bring back memories and is likely to improve the ability to learn. The treatment had been developed specifically for Parkinson's Disease, and was apparently being tried by the Cleveland Clinic and in Canada.

The hope is that the treatment could help restore short term memory or learning ability for patients with Alzheimer's Disease, especially in early stages. The name of the story is "Hope for Alzheimer's? Deep Brain Stimulation: Electrical Currents in the Brain May Help Patients Locate Lost Memories," link here.

Many times memory loss is related to circulation problems generating from heart problems, and not all dementia is caused by plaques as usually discussed with Alzheimer's Disease. It's unclear whether the effectiveness of this new treatment would depend on the clinical cause of the memory loss.

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