NEURO WELLNESS SPA

TMS & ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

How can TMS therapy help patients with Alzheimer’s Disease?

NEURO WELLNESS SPA

TMS & ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

How can TMS therapy help patients with Alzheimer’s Disease?

TREATMENT OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has made significant strides in mental health research over the past two decades. Thus far, the FDA has approved TMS as a treatment for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Standing in line behind these advancements, research is underway to implement TMS as a therapy for Alzheimer’s disease as well.

TREATMENT OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has made significant strides in mental health research over the past two decades. Thus far, the FDA has approved TMS as a treatment for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Standing in line behind these advancements, research is underway to implement TMS as a therapy for Alzheimer’s disease as well.

WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a degenerative brain disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. Deaths from AD rank higher than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Amongst the top ten causes of deaths in America, it is the only one that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed.
 
There are several approved medications that offer temporary relief from symptoms; most focus on an attempt to delay the cognitive decline in patients. Overall, they have been quite limited in their effectiveness. They also come with some fairly significant side effects. TMS has the potential to improve cognitive function without the risk of adverse effects.

WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a degenerative brain disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. Deaths from AD rank higher than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Amongst the top ten causes of deaths in America, it is the only one that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed.
 
There are several approved medications that offer temporary relief from symptoms; most focus on an attempt to delay the cognitive decline in patients. Overall, they have been quite limited in their effectiveness. They also come with some fairly significant side effects. TMS has the potential to improve cognitive function without the risk of adverse effects.

TMS TRIAL RESULTS WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

COGNITIVE TRAINING

Over the past 15 years, TMS has been researched as a means of treating people with cognitive impairment as a result of vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s, mild cognitive impairment, and other types of dementia. The most successful studies combined repetitive TMS (rTMS) with cognitive training. Cognitive training consists of tasks displayed on a touch screen in front of the patient undergoing rTMS treatment. The patient then selects answers by touching icons on the screen. Tasks are related specifically to the area of the brain’s cortex being stimulated by the simultaneous rTMS treatment. For example, when receiving stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the patient’s tasks would center on action naming, object naming, and spatial memory of shapes, colors, and letters (functions related to that portion of the brain’s cortex). The level of difficulty of the tasks is based on the patient’s cognitive performance and prior results.

TRIAL EVALUATIONS

To evaluate trial results, testing is done before the patient begins TMS and cognitive training, mid way through treatments, and several months following the completion of the TMS and cognitive training. In several studies, positive effects were shown to last between 6 to 12 months. There is also evidence that repeating treatment 10 to 12 months apart can improve and/or stabilize patients going forward. At present, rTMS with cognitive training appears to be a useful add-on therapy, particularly in the mild stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The therapy is already approved for use in Europe and is available commercially or in clinical trials in Israel, Hong Kong, and Korea.

USING TMS TO TRACK TREATMENT EFFICACY

Another way that TMS can help Alzheimer’s disease is its potential as a diagnostic tool useful in testing the next generation of medications. It may also allow researchers to track changes in the brain circuitry over time.

 

TMS offers patients, doctors, and family members cause for optimism. Alzheimer’s disease is an area of medicine that desperately needs optimism and hope. One in ten adults age 65 and older has AD. That is a shocking 10% of the senior generation. Someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. By 2050, it will be closer to every 33 seconds. Researching the ways in which TMS can help us better understand the brain’s functions couldn’t be more timely.

SOURCES

For more information about the services we offer or whether TMS treatment is covered by your insurance provider, contact us today.

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