You are viewing AANS Neurosurgeon Volume 27, Number 1, 2018. View our current issue, Volume 27, Number 3, 2018

AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 1, 2018

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Deep Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer’s Not for Everyone

Patients with late-onset Alzheimer’s may show some long-term benefit, but none for early-onset

In a report of the phase II ADvance clinical trial, Johns Hopkins researchers report that people diagnosed under age 65 — those with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease — didn’t benefit from deep brain stimulation. 

 “Our results suggest that as we look at deep brain stimulation as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, we should probably focus on those over 65, which is the bulk of people with Alzheimer’s,” says Jeannie-Marie Leoutsakos, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Over the years there’s been little in the pipeline that is promising for Alzheimer’s, so there are now plans in the works for a larger trial only including people over 65.”

Deep brain stimulation has proved an effective therapy for easing the motor symptoms of people with Parkinson’s disease. The researchers are hopeful that the therapy could be used for other types of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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