Pacemaker-like device studied in Alzheimer’s treatment

Dr. Paul Rosenberg, Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Paul Rosenberg, Johns Hopkins University


By Kevin Woo, Special to Alzheimer’s Speaks | December 6, 2012

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say that implanting a pacemaker, the same one that is currently being used for patients with Parkinson’s disease, may help those with Alzheimer’s.

The treatment involves delivering electrical charges to the parts of the brain that control learning and memory.

Dr. Paul Rosenberg told CBS This Morning, “You put two wires in the brain, in the part of the brain that we know is involved in memory … it looks like a pacemaker, it’s a little battery that fits under your shoulder blade. It puts electricity through these wires, these wires run along the natural wires of the brain, which feed your memory and they actually stimulate those parts of the brain.  The equipment is the same, the surgery is similar (to that performed on Parkinson’s patients.

Rosenberg called the surgery “minimally” invasive.  It involves drilling “a couple” of holes in a patient’s skull and running wires along the natural wires of the brain.”  He said that this type of therapy would co-exist with drug treatments.

The treatment may be more widely available “a few years down the line,” says Rosenberg.

To see the interview on CBS This Morning click here:

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