Dr. William S. Anderson, a neurosurgeon at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recently surgically implanted a pacemaker-like device into the brain of a patient with early Alzheimer's disease, reports UPI.
Dr. Paul B. Rosenberg, also of Johns Hopkins, said in a statement: "Recent failures in Alzheimer's disease trials using drugs such as those designed to reduce the buildup of beta amyloid plaques in the brain have sharpened the need for alternative strategies."
"This is a very different approach, whereby we are trying to enhance the function of the brain mechanically. It's a whole new avenue for potential treatment for a disease becoming all the more common with the aging of the population."
About 40 patients are expected to receive the deep brain stimulation implant at Johns Hopkins and four other clinics in North America as part of a study led by Johns Hopkins' Dr. Constantine G. Lyketsos and Dr. Andres Lozano of the University of Toronto.