Imagine a deep “brain zap” that could bring back certain memories to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It may sound far-fetched, but experts say it could be possible one day.
The article explains that some patients in the clinical trial recalled distinct emotions, smells, tastes and temperatures – including one patient who suddenly remembered “an entire experience of being inebriated while drinking a margarita at a resort in Aruba.”
Of the 42 Alzheimer’s patients involved in the study, about half experienced flashbacks from previous decades, the report notes.
Unfortunately, researchers pointed out, the deep brain stimulation did not lead to “overall improvement” in patients’ thinking, reasoning skills or memory – though a second phase of the study is in progress.
“It’s very unclear what the clinical significance is of these memory recollections, but they at least help us with understanding how memory forms and which portions of the brain seem to be related to retrieving and forming memories,” lead researcher Dr. Wissam Deeb explained in the HealthDay article.
Resources to consider
While news about clinical trials can offer hope for the future, those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can face a variety of day-to-day challenges.
The National Institute on Aging offers a wide range of resources for caregivers – from everyday care to legal and financial issues – on its website.
People in the metro Detroit area can also find local support from the following resources and groups. Find more ideas on where to get caregiver support here.
This chapter serves 23 counties and has a local office in Ann Arbor. It offers education, caregiver support and other resources for those facing Alzheimer’s disease and their loved ones.
This free support group meets at Beaumont Hospital in Farmington Hills. It helps to ease the difficulty of caring for individuals with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other memory conditions.
The second Thursday of each month, caregivers of people who have Alzheimer’s gather in Sterling Heights to talk about their experiences and get information from experts.