19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



Facebook    

 

SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace

 

 

 

 


powered by centersite dot net
Alzheimers Disease and other Cognitive Disorders
Resources
Basic Information
Introduction & Causes of Cognitive DisordersDementiaAlzheimer's DiseaseOther Cognitive DisordersDementia Coping Skills & Behavior ManagementTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Conclusion and Resources
More InformationLatest News
For People at High Risk, Evidence That Exercise Might Slow Alzheimer'sDementia Caregivers Often Face Sleepless NightsHealth Tip: Dementia and DrivingGetting Hitched Might Lower Your Odds for DementiaHow You Can Help Head Off Alzheimer's DiseaseDeep Brain 'Zap' Restores Vivid Memories to Alzheimer's PatientsHow to Protect a Loved One With Dementia During a Heat WaveToo Much Napping May Signal Alzheimer'sDepression, Alzheimer's Might Be Part of Same Process in Some Aging Brains: StudyStay Social to Help Cut Your Odds of DementiaBlood Test May Spot Brain Changes of Early Alzheimer'sClues to Why Women Have Higher Odds for Alzheimer'sA New and Better Way to 'Stage' Alzheimer's Patients?At Risk for Alzheimer's? Exercise Might Help Keep It at BayHealthy Living Can Cut Odds for Alzheimer's in People at Genetic RiskHormone Treatment for Prostate Cancer Linked to Heightened Alzheimer's RiskAlzheimer's Genes Might Show Effects in Your 20sWidely Prescribed Class of Meds Might Raise Dementia RiskCancer Survivors May Have Lower Odds for DementiaCommon Blood Pressure Med Might Help Fight Alzheimer'sEducation, Intelligence Might Protect Your BrainOpioids Put Alzheimer's Patients at Risk of Pneumonia: StudyFor Some, Trouble Tracking Finances Could Be Sign of DementiaIt's Never Too Late for New Brain CellsHigh LDL Cholesterol Tied to Early-Onset Alzheimer'sDoes Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Raise Dementia Risk?Could Alzheimer's Spread Like Infection Throughout the Brain?Newly Discovered Illness May Cause Nearly 1 in 5 Dementias, Experts SayFinancial Scammers Often Prey on People With Early DementiaMore Alzheimer's Drug Trial Failures: Are Researchers on the Wrong Track?Gum Disease Shows Possible Links to Alzheimer'sBrain Scans Spot, Track Alzheimer'sFewer Periods May Mean Higher Dementia RiskOnly Spoken Words Processed in Newly Discovered Brain RegionRate of U.S. Deaths Tied to Dementia Has More Than DoubledEven Distant Relatives' History Could Up Your Alzheimer's RiskHealthy Diet Might Not Lower Dementia RiskDementia May Strike Differently, Depending on RaceHormone Therapy Linked to Slight Rise in Alzheimer's RiskSleep Apnea May Be Linked With Alzheimer's MarkerScientists Find 5 New Genes That Sway Alzheimer's RiskActive Brain and Body Are Powerful Weapons Against DementiaAre Hearing Loss, Mental Decline Related?Education No Match Against Alzheimer'sCould Gut Bacteria Be Linked to Dementia Risk?Plunging Temperatures a Threat to People With Alzheimer'sBlood Test Might Yield Early Warning of Alzheimer'sFrailty a Risk Factor for DementiaAHA: Blood Pressure May Explain Higher Dementia Risk in BlacksSleep Patterns May Offer Clues to Alzheimer's
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Aging & Geriatrics
Memory Problems
Elder Care

Deep Brain 'Zap' Restores Vivid Memories to Alzheimer's Patients

HealthDay News
by By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Aug 21st 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could a pacemaker for the brain improve the memories of people with dementia or Alzheimer's disease?

New research suggests it might be possible one day: Electrical stimulation directed at key memory regions of the brain created intense flashbacks in some Alzheimer's patients, including sensations of emotions, smells, taste and temperature.

In one case, a patient suddenly recalled "an entire experience of being inebriated while drinking a margarita at a resort in Aruba," researchers said. In another, a man had a vivid flashback of feeling very full after eating sardines on his front porch two decades previously.

In fact, about half of the 42 Alzheimer's patients in the clinical trial experienced electrically induced flashbacks from decades prior, stretching back as far as the Vietnam War era, said lead researcher Dr. Wissam Deeb, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Florida.

"These memory recollections were very vivid for some people," Deeb said. "They were associated with a lot of emotional content when patients remembered them, because they were memories they hadn't even thought of for such a long time."

Researchers cautioned that the deep brain stimulation did not create overall improvement in patients' thinking, reasoning or memory abilities.

However, these induced memory recalls could help scientists better understand how memory works and thus lead to therapies that might improve memory in people with dementia, Deeb added.

Deep brain stimulation involves drilling a hole in the skull and running electrical leads into specific areas of the brain. This therapy already is being used to help treat the movement symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease, most notably in actor Michael J. Fox.

For this trial, Alzheimer's patients had electrical leads installed targeting the fornix, a brain structure that's important for memory formation, Deeb said.

"We wanted to see if doing this type of stimulation -- which is similar to a pacemaker's stimulation -- could improve memories," Deeb said.

The stimulation did improve memories, but not in the way researchers expected.

People's overall ability to recall memories did not improve, but 20 of the patients reported having vivid flashbacks of previous events in their lives.

"As the voltage of stimulation was increased, the intensity of the memory or the vividness of the memory was more detailed, including information about emotion, smell and taste," Deeb said.

In one example, a 7-volt stimulation prompted a patient to recall "helping a guy find something on his property." With an increase to 8 volts, the memory sharpened to include the presence of the man's son. At 10 volts, the patient remembered that the event occurred at night around Halloween.

"It's very unclear what the clinical significance is of these memory recollections, but they at least help us with understanding how memory forms and which portions of the brain seem to be related to retrieving and forming memories," Deeb said.

Researchers now are analyzing images of the patients' brains in detail, so they can more accurately identify the brain regions stimulated by the voltage, Deeb said. A second phase of the study is underway.

Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer's Association, said he "definitely thinks" deep brain stimulation holds some promise for treating dementia.

"It occurs to me, given what we do know about the fornix, it's the major output from the hippocampus and the hippocampus is where you see some of the earliest changes in Alzheimer's disease," said Fargo, who wasn't part of the study. "It's a reasonable thought to have that adding activity to the fornix might prove beneficial.

"As people get older and lose those memories from earlier and earlier in their life, this could hold some promise for holding onto those memories longer," Fargo continued. "This would seem to indicate that the memories are still there, it's a matter of whether the hippocampus is strong enough to stimulate the rest of the brain to find them and bring them back, to allow that kind of recall."

But Fargo added that it's not clear whether this sort of stimulation would better help people with Alzheimer's or people suffering from some kind of amnesia.

"The way the brain works and the way memory works is still a mystery in many ways," Fargo said. "It's unpredictable what the benefits of this will be ultimately, but it is predictable there will be benefits."

The study was published Aug. 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has more about deep brain stimulation.