As researchers continue to explore potential pharmacological therapies to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a cure for this disease remains elusive. However, research suggests that various non-drug strategies may show promise in improving diagnosis and symptom management in patients with AD. In his 2022 study published in The forefront of neuroscienceNing et al. reviewed a number of neuroengineering approaches that could support these goals.1
“Many clinical trials are underway to test the efficacy of new non-pharmacological neurotechnologies for Alzheimer’s disease, including brain stimulation techniques.
“Some of these approaches have been more thoroughly investigated for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, but should be studied more extensively to evaluate their potential as disease-modifying interventions for AD,” he said. It is,” he emphasized.
Use of ultrasound to ameliorate AD pathology and symptoms
Researchers have shown promising results using ultrasound technology. Recent studies suggest that magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound can be combined with microbubbles to open the blood-brain barrier, ultimately ameliorating the pathology and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.1 A 2021 study published in Radiologyresearchers found no adverse effects from using this approach in three patients with early-stage AD.2
In a 2019 study published in advanced scienceBeisteiner et al. observed significant improvements in neuropsychological scores that persisted for up to 3 months in 35 AD patients who received transcranial pulse stimulation with ultrasound for 2 weeks. These effects correlated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data showing upregulation of memory networks, and no major side effects were observed.3
Meanwhile, Jeong et al. found that low-intensity transcranial focused ultrasound to the hippocampus was associated with mild improvements in memory, executive function, and global cognitive function in four AD patients. . Ultrasound examination.Four Positron emission tomography (PET) scans revealed an increase in regional cerebral glucose metabolic rate in the superior frontal gyrus (P. <.001), middle cingulate gyrus (P<0.001), and fusiform gyrus (P. =.001) Next ultrasound (P. =.001).
Potential role of deep brain stimulation in advertising
The utility of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for symptom management in Parkinson’s disease is well established, and preliminary studies also point to a potential role for DBS in AD.Investigator in his 2014 study of six AD patients published in the journal brain stimulationprovided the first human evidence that DBS may delay or reverse brain atrophy in AD. Five Patients underwent 1 year of continuous DBS applied to the vault and showed slower mean hippocampal atrophy compared with the corresponding group of AD patients. In addition, her 2 of the 6 patients had bilateral increases in hippocampal volume, with an average enlargement of 5.6% of hers and 8.2% of hers.
In a 2015 pilot study in the journal molecular psychiatryThe researchers reported favorable results with DBS applied to the Meynert basal ganglia in 4 of 6 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, based on scores on the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Disease Rating Scale, with severe No side effects were observed.6
Transcranial magnetic stimulation as an AD intervention
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) represents another area of ongoing research investigating interventions for a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders, including AD. Previous studies have shown that TMS increases motor cortex excitability in AD patients. Recent studies in animals and humans have also investigated the use of TMS in the management of cognitive symptoms of AD, such as amnesia and deficits in memory, comprehension, and spatial learning.1
In a 2021 study using a mouse model of AD, Acta Neuropathologica Communication, Lin et al. found that repetitive TMS (rTMS) prevented long-term memory decline, increased the drainage efficiency of the lymphatic system and meningeal lymphatics, and reduced amyloid-beta deposition. Tracers in cerebrospinal fluid may be used as biomarkers to predict the efficacy of rTMS in AD.7
TMS is now the focus of clinical trials testing the effectiveness of interventions in improving AD symptoms.8
Researchers also continue to explore a range of techniques in areas such as optogenetics, photostimulation and nanotechnology with the aim of identifying potential AD interventions.
Noting that the onset of Alzheimer’s disease begins long before clinical symptoms appear, “it would be ideal to intervene in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease at a preclinical stage, when there may be a greater chance of reversing the disease’s trajectory.” said Dr. Jorfi. “This clinical strategy is similar to controlling cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of heart disease.”
He emphasized the need for scientists, clinicians, and engineers to combine complementary specialties to optimize the development and application of neuroengineering for Alzheimer’s disease.
“While each neurotechnology may be developed independently as some form of therapy, our current understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and the tangled biology of the human brain is likely to make it difficult to integrate different technologies with existing pharmaceuticals and biologics. Combined with therapeutic agents, it demonstrates the need to effectively address the challenges in development and implementation of an effective Alzheimer’s disease treatment,” explained Dr. Jorfi.