London clinic becomes first in UK to offer new drug-free Alzheimer’s treatment

2012

The London Alzheimer’s Clinic on Harley Street (London, UK) has become the first clinic in the UK to offer transcranial pulse stimulation (TPS)—a “revolutionary” new neuromodulation treatment for Alzheimer’s dementia—according to an Alzheimer’s Clinics press release.

TPS involves passing short, painless acoustic waves through the patient’s head to stimulate deep cerebral regions of the brain with millimetre accuracy. These waves stimulate neural growth factors and promote the formation of new blood vessels as well as improved blood circulation.

As the press release also notes, studies by researchers at the University of Vienna (Vienna, Austria) have shown that just six 30-minute treatments over the course of two weeks can improve mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease by up to 10 points on the CERAD (Consortium to establish a registry for Alzheimer’s disease) scale—a measure of the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Patients and close relatives who received the treatment through the study reported noticeable improvements in memory and verbal communication, which subsequently and indirectly led to an increase in social interaction. Some patients further reported an improved sense of direction that enabled them to do their daily tasks independently and safely find their way home afterwards, the release adds.

Lead researcher Roland Beisteiner (University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria) said: “For the first time in the world, TPS enables us to penetrate into all areas of the brain by means of an ultrasound pulse delivered directly to the skull in a non-invasive, painless procedure, during which the patient is fully conscious, and to specifically target particular areas of the brain and stimulate them.”

The procedure is painless, non-invasive, involves minimal side-effects, and does not require any medications. If the patient is using Alzheimer’s medications, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, the TPS treatment does not interfere with the medication’s effectiveness. Some 1,500 treatments have already been carried out across Europe, the release continues, and patients in the UK will now have access to it “for the first time”.


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