Deep Brain Stimulation May Improve Cognition in Dementia, Says Research

by Kathy Jones on Apr 8 2014 11:07 PM

 Deep Brain Stimulation May Improve Cognition in Dementia, Says Research
Previous research has shown that intralaminar thalamic deep brain stimulation (ILN-DBS) improves cognition and spatial memory acquisition.
However the question plaguing researchers is: Could it have a similar effect in dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases that cause severe cognitive dysfunction?

That was the question researchers addressed in the study Intralaminar Thalamic Deep Brain Stimulation Ameliorates the Memory Deficit and the Dendritic Regression in β-Amyloid Infusion Rats, led by Sheng-Tzung Tsai, MD. Dr. Tsai presented the team''s findings today during the 82nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS),

Dr. Tsai said: "We implanted an intraventricular β-amyloid protein infusion pump and deep brain stimulation electrodes over rats'' skulls and achieved target accuracy. To elucidate anatomical neural plasticity, we used an intracellular dye injection method to delineate the dendritic spine of neurons over the cortex and hippocampus."

According to Dr. Tsai, growing evidence shows the efficacy of deep brain stimulation in patients with neuropsychiatric diseases. "In the future, we aim to identify a correlation between arousal status and memory acquisition and the detailed mechanism underlying this cognitive improvement. We may achieve optimal DBS strategy for patients with cognitive impairment."

Study co-authors include Li-Jin Chen, PhD; Shin-Yuan Chen, MD, MSc; and Guo-Fang Tseng, PhD.

Disclosure: The author reported no conflicts of interest.

Media Representatives: The 2014 AANS Annual Meeting Press Kit includes releases on highlighted scientific research, AANS officer and award winners, National Neurosurgery Awareness Week, and other relevant information about this year''s program. Those releases also will be posted under the Media area on the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting website ( Meeting/2014/Main/Media.aspx). If you would have interest in a topic related to neurosurgery or would like to interview a neurosurgeon - either onsite or via telephone - during this year''s event, please contact John Iwanski, AANS Director of Integrated Marketing and Website Communications, via the onsite press room at 415.978.3603 or e-mail him at [email protected].

About the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting: Attended by neurosurgeons, neurosurgical residents, medical students, neuroscience nurses, clinical specialists, physician assistants, allied health professionals and other medical professionals, the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting is the largest gathering of neurosurgeons in the nation, with an emphasis on the field''s latest research and technological advances. A record-breaking 1,321 scientific abstracts were presented for review at the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, and the scientific presentations given at this year''s event represent cutting-edge examples of the incredible developments taking place within the field of neurosurgery. Additional information about the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting and the Meeting Program can be found at Meeting/2014/Main/Home.aspx.

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with nearly 8,600 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system including the spinal column, spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves. For more information, visit