Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s disease through precautionary advice

Alzheimer is a dreaded disease that is affecting an estimated 5.1 million Americans and the likelihood of getting it increases with the person reaching an age of 65 years or above. Within two years of its diagnosis, this disease can turn an individual into dud or lame duck with symptoms like incapability of recalling basic information, unable to communicate the simplest of thoughts and other linked up symptoms. Alzheimer disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States with more than $100 billion a year being spent on health care costs.

As per the opinion of Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy – Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and coauthor of the book “The Alzheimer’s Action Plan”, there is no magic bullet and no strategy that has been proven to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are certain tips or advice through which the Alzheimer’s disease can be avoided. Some of the advice or more prominent treatments that have gained attention include:

Shocking your memory awake

A University of California at Los Angeles study has found that light shocks to a person’s brain before they learnt a new task helped strengthen their memory. This study was performed on seven epilepsy patients and researchers feel that it may have implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  With the rapid ageing of the U.S. population there is a sense of urgency within the government as well as the medical community about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s which mostly affects the elderly, leaving them completely dependent others for their daily care.

The patients who took part in this study were fitted with pacemakers known as deep brain stimulators to help find the source of their epileptic seizures; the team took this chance to study the effects of stimulating the brain on memory. These pacemakers known as deep brain stimulators made by Medtronic and St. Jude Medical center are already in use to calm the muscle tremors that occur with Parkinson’s disease, and other such disorders. These pacemakers are implanted in the chest under the skin, and have wires that lead up to tiny electrodes that are implanted deep in the brain and produce electrical impulses.

 

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