Sunday, August 30, 2015

Study: Magnetic pulses could benefit Alzheimer's patients

Italian researchers reported positive results in a small study involving ten patients with Alzheimer's Disease who underwent repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation - a technique that delivers several magnetic pulses to the brain in rapid sequences at various frequencies. The goal was to determine if the magnetic pulses could be a treatment for the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's patients. The ten patients were randomly placed in two groups with the first group undergoing four weeks of treatment with the magnetic stimulation and the second group undergoing two weeks of fakes or placebo treatment followed by two weeks of real treatment.

Study: Magnetic pulses could benefit Alzheimer's patients

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Italian researchers reported positive results in a small study involving ten patients with Alzheimer's Disease who underwent repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation - a technique that delivers several magnetic pulses to the brain in rapid sequences at various frequencies.

The goal was to determine if the magnetic pulses could be a treatment for the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's patients. The ten patients were randomly placed in two groups with the first group undergoing four weeks of treatment with the magnetic stimulation and the second group undergoing two weeks of fakes or placebo treatment followed by two weeks of real treatment.

The patients were tested for cognitive performance before treatment began at two weeks, four weeks and eight weeks after the regimen ended. The researchers reported that those undergoing the magnetic pulse treatments had significant differences in the correct responses they made, demonstrating comprehension of spoken sentences.

"Only real treatment induced an improvement in performance with respect to baseline or placebo," the authors wrote in the study published online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. "Moreover, both groups showed a lasting effect on the improved performance eight weeks after the end of treatment."

The authors added that their study provides "initial evidence for the persistent beneficial effects" of magnetic pulse therapy on sentence comprehension in Alzheimer's patients.

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Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, nueroscience and ageing
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
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