First ever brain pacemaker implanted in the US

First ever brain pacemaker implanted in the US

Kathy Sanford is the first Alzheimer's patient in the US to have a pacemaker implanted in her brain.

The pacemaker, which was implemented during a five-hour long surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, will employ deep brain stimulation (DBS), which has successfully been used to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Similar to a cardiac pacemaker, the device has its wires implanted in the brain instead of the heart.

Ms Sanford received the surgery in October 2012 and is the first of up to ten patients to take part in the study. The research aims to determine whether or not the use of DBS can improve cognitive and behavioural functioning in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Dr Ali Rezai, neurosurgeon and director of the neuroscience programme, said: "If the early findings that we're seeing continue to be robust and progressive, then I think that will be very promising and encouraging for us."

The study is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

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