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Deep Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer's Patients

Posted Aug 06 2010 1:37pm
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

This information comes out of a Phase 1 clinical trial. Phase 1 trials are not designed to prove "efficacy." In addition, only six patients were tested.

There is a link at the bottom of the release that you can use to determine if you are eligible to participate in the next phase if it occurs. However, you will need to be in or around Toronto.

To me, this is interesting research.


In a world first, Dr. Andres M. Lozano and his team at Toronto Western Hospital has shown using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease is safe and may help improve memory.

The phase one safety trial of six Ontario patients took place from 2005 to 2008. All patients left hospital within 2 to 3 days of surgery, and continue to participate in regular follow-up cognitive assessments.

Throughout these assessments, Dr. Lozano says half the patients continue to perform better than predicted – that is – their memory capacity has improved, or deteriorated less than expected.

“While the study was not looking for efficacy, the results suggest that of the six patients, three may have done better than if the Alzheimer’s disease was allowed to run its course,” commented Lozano. “We showed that not only is this a safe procedure, but that the evidence is there to warrant a bigger trial. Any amount of time that extends quality of life and quality years to someone with Alzheimer’s may be a benefit.”

Dr. Lozano first discovered the potential for DBS to treat Alzheimer’s disease while treating a patient for obesity using DBS back in 2003. While signaling areas of the brain, Dr. Lozano and his team triggered memories in the patient. In follow-up testing the patient’s memory improved and Dr. Lozano set in motion the first ever DBS trial of patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

“We’ve demonstrated this is safe, and that the evidence warrants more study. We’re now planning a phase two, multi-centred trial - we’re just waiting on the funding,” says Dr. Lozano.

Results of Dr. Lozano’s trial are published in today’s issue of Annals of Neurology. Anyone interested in more information about participating in the next phase please visit:
http://www.uhn.on.ca/Focus_of_Care/KNC/Functional_Neurosurgery/research.asp. There is a form interested applicants can print and fax in.
__________________________________________________

About Toronto Western Hospital
Each year through it’s Krembil Neuroscience Program, the Toronto Western Hospital treats more than 30,000 patients and 2,500 neurosurgical operations are performed. The Krembil Neuroscience Centre is one of the largest combined clinical and research neurological facilities in North America. The Toronto Western Hospital is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes the Toronto General Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital. All three are research hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About University Health Network
University Health Network consists of Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in transplantation, cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, and genomic medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. For more information please visit www.uhn.ca

About Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospital Foundation
Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital as well as for their respective research arms, Toronto General Research Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. The Foundation’s vision is to enable global leadership and innovation in health by developing and sustaining strong relationships with University Health Network stakeholders.

Media Contacts
Fiona Hill
Toronto Western Hospital
416-603-5323
fiona.hill@uhn.on.ca


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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,690 articles with more than 70,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room


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