More than 50 years ago, Arne Larsson became the first person to receive a pacemaker, allowing him to live to the rip old age of 86 – outliving the inventor as well as the surgeon who performed the implant. Since that first procedure in 1958, millions have gone on to live healthy lives with the help of a cardiac pacemaker.
With a similar goal in mind, the researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently released news of a brain pacemaker that may offer new hope for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Paul Rosenberg, an Alzheimer’s specialist at Johns Hopkins who is providing insight in the first clinical trial of the treatment in the U.S., outlined the treatment in an article published by CBS News. “You put two wires in the brain, in the part of the brain that we know is involved in memory … it looks like a pacemaker, it’s a little battery that fits under your shoulder blade,” he explained. “It puts electricity through these wires, these wires run along the natural wires of the brain, which feed your memory and they actually stimulate those parts of the brain.”
According to the editor of the CBS News article, for Alzheimer’s trials taking place in Canada, the patients exhibited some memory improvements and produced an increase in brain metabolism. Furthermore, a similar treatment has found some success for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
To read the entire CBS News article, head here.