Can deep stimulation provided by pacemaker in the brain treat Alzheimer’s disease? This is the question scientists at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University are continuing to explore, and one for which they are currently recruiting participants. The trial comes none too soon for seniors and caregivers.
In 2010, estimates were that 120,000 older adults in the Hoosier state were living with Alzheimer’s disease
. By 2025, that number is expected to climb to 130,000.
Alzheimer’s Pacemaker Trials
In December of 2012, surgeons at The Johns Hopkins University Medical Center implanted the first pacemakers in the brains of two patients determined to have early-onset Alzheimer’s. The pacemakers were attached to the portion of the brain responsible for memory. Additional surgeries on other participants have been on-going since that time.
This trial was the result of a smaller research project first initiated in Canada. Patients who participated in that trial saw their glucose metabolism numbers improve after a pacemaker was inserted. This is considered to be a promising sign because many researchers believe glucose metabolism is a measure of neuronal activity. As Alzheimer’s disease takes its toll on the brain, glucose metabolism decreases. With the help of a pacemaker, early indicators seem to show that decline can be reversed.
The team at Wexner Medical Center has also been testing the efficacy of pacemakers as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The major difference is that researchers in Columbus are targeting the area of the brain that regulates behaviors and cognitive function instead of memory.
Recruiting for Alzheimer’s Pacemaker Trial at Wexner
If your older Indiana loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a clinical trial like this one may be an option to consider. Researchers at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University are currently recruiting participants
Eligibility guidelines for participants are:
- Must be between the ages of 45 and 85
- Can be male or female
- Must have a probable diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
Participant exclusion criteria include:
Follow These Trials
- People who have significant neurological disease other than Alzheimer's disease
- Evidence of substance abuse (alcohol or other substance abuse) or dependence during the previous 12 months
If you would like to follow the progress of either of these two trials, be sure to follow the Five Star Senior Living Indiana Resources Blog
. We will continue to share updates as they become available.
Respite for Indiana Family Caregivers
If you are an adult child or family caregiver in Indiana and you need a break from caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, respite care can be a short-term solution. Please call the Five Star Senior Living community
nearest you for more information.