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Electrotherapy Used to Treat Patients with Dementia

February 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Category: Uncategorized

A research team conducted a preliminary study that aims to find a cure for patients with mild cognitive impairment and those with mild forms of dementia.
The study involves having electrical stimulation into a patient’s frontal lobe which is in charge of motor function, problem solving and spontaneity.
It uses direct currents, with electricity flowing in one direction from the right side to the left side of the frontal lobe.
The current completes its course by stimulating the whole brain arriving at the brain’s main cerebral cortex.(standup ed: jenny)
“The team eventually hopes to expand the study to include research on more advanced forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease.”

Sixteen patients aged between 65 and 85 years including Na Yoon-hee who was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment four years ago were selected for the study.
Na doesn’t exhibit disability in memory, communication and motor skills but without proper treatment patients like Na are at high risks of more advanced forms of dementia.

“It’s tingling but it’s tolerable. After the treatment, my headaches subside.”

Each session lasts around 30 minutes.
Electromagnetic levels and frequency of the treatment are adjustable depending on the severity of the patients’ conditions.
If the symptoms get better, the sessions can be reduced to one to two times a week instead of the usual three times a week.

“Up until now, drug prescriptions to treat dementia were aimed at slowing down the symptoms rather than focus on fully tackling the degenerative disease. But this electrotherapy opens up a new opportunity for patients to fully recover as the study shows patients’ conditions can be improved.”

One caveat is that patients should regularly visit the hospital to undergo the electrotherapy on a near-daily basis.
The team is trying to address this by working with a local startup to come up with portable devices.
The team is also working on expanding the preliminary study by offering the therapy on hundreds of patients, prior to the application of the study on patients with more advanced forms of dementia.

Written by: Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.




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