Tag Archives: Neurodegeneration

Deep brain stimulation for dementia

18 Apr

Science Daily has the details:

“Their research has shown that new brain cells, or neurons, can be formed by stimulating the front part of the brain which is involved in memory retention using minute amounts of electricity.
The increase in brain cells reduces anxiety and depression, and promotes improved learning, and boosts overall memory formation and retention.
The research findings open new opportunities for developing novel treatment solutions for patients suffering from memory loss due to dementia-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and even Parkinson’s disease.”

You can find the original paper here. From the paper:

“Overall, these findings suggest that chronic ventromedial prefrontal cortex high-frequency stimulation may serve as a novel effective therapeutic target for dementia-related disorders.”

 

 

Sleep disturbances and neurodegeneration

11 Sep

It is well established that dementia is often accompanied by sleep disturbances. For example, the phenomenon of sundowning in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

An article, published in Nature, the world’s most prestigious science journal, reported that levels of soluble amyloid-β in mice fluctuate with sleep cycles. There is evidence that soluble amyloid beta peptide  is associated with the neurodegenerative changes of Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the article:

“Sleeping difficulties and neurodegeneration seem to reinforce one another in a vicious cycle. “Abnormal sleep in mid-life might cause protein aggregation that starts the disease off,” Holtzman says, “and the damage that causes may further disrupt sleep.

But could that dynamic be reversed? If disrupted sleep can predispose people to neurodegeneration, then might healthy sleeping patterns help protect the brain against it? Holtzman’s group is testing this idea — essentially, whether it is possible to turn the vicious cycle virtuous. “A lot of early data suggest that modifying sleep could actually delay the onset of disease,” he says. “I think that’s where the field should be going now, but it’s not trivial translating all the animal studies directly into people.”

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