Scientists Test “Brain Pacemakers” To Zap Alzheimer’s

WASHINGTON (January 20, 2013)--Scientists are trying something dramatically different in the quest to stave off the creeping memory loss of Alzheimer's disease by using "brain pacemakers."

Brain surgery for Alzheimer's may sound radical, but the first U.S. experiments with these implants are getting under way.

It's not easy.

Surgeons must drill holes into a patient's skull.

Then they implant tiny wires that shoot out mild jolts of electricity.

By constantly zapping certain brain circuits, scientists hope to bypass some of Alzheimer's damage and keep neural networks active for longer.

There's a big caution; this research is in its infancy.

Only a few dozen people with early-stage Alzheimer's symptoms will get the implants in a handful of hospitals and they’ll be tracked closely for a few years to see how they fare.

, 2013)--Scientists are trying something dramatically different in the quest to stave off the creeping memory loss of Alzheimer's disease by using "brain pacemakers."

Brain surgery for Alzheimer's may sound radical, but the first U.S. experiments with these implants are getting under way.

It's not easy.

Surgeons must drill holes into a patient's skull.

Then they implant tiny wires that shoot out mild jolts of electricity.

By constantly zapping certain brain circuits, scientists hope to bypass some of Alzheimer's damage and keep neural networks active for longer.

There's a big caution; this research is in its infancy.

Only a few dozen people with early-stage Alzheimer's symptoms will get the implants in a handful of hospitals and they’ll be tracked closely for a few years to see how they fare.


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