An article recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease examines the benefits of stimulating the brain with electric waves, a method called deep brain stimulation. According to Gregory Jicha, professor at the University of Kentucky, deep brain stimulation has been a common method of therapy for fixing motor circuits in Parkinson’s disease. Researchers of the study have found that deep brain stimulation can stall cognitive decline in participants with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Human Connectome Project is large collection of brain details from over 200 young adults. This data has been made freely available to the scientific community. Recently, this project has confirmed the existence of 83 reported areas and identified 97 new regions in the brain. Despite the many similarities in a human brain, there are many brain areas that vary from person to person. Through further analysis, this project can allow researchers to examine the differences of each brain and discover new causes to potential diseases.
A mechanism that lacks understanding in the field of Alzheimer’s research is the self-replication of abnormal brain molecules such as amyloids. These amyloids are seen to replicate uncontrollably without any significant assistance from the body. Researchers at the University of Cambridge are seeking to further understand this phenomenon by searching for the necessary requirements for the self-replication of these molecules.
Sundowning is known as the increased confusion and irritability in the evening for people with dementia, lasting up to a few hours. Nira Rittenberg, an occupational therapist specializing in geriatrics and dementia care at Baycrest Health Sciences Centre, says “researchers believe it has to do with one’s biological clock or sleep-wake cycle.” Other causes that may bring on these behaviours include physical or mental fatigue caused by activities during the day.
A recent study published in the journal of Neurology is seeking to gain more understanding towards the genetic role and patterns that indicate susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. Led by Dr. Elizabeth Mormino of the Massachusetts General Hospital, the study assessed 166 people with dementia and 1026 people without dementia.