Kathy is highly motivated to participate in the study, Jester explained. "She has two daughters and a grandson who she is worried about, and [she] hopes if this treatment works, they would have an alternative should they inherit this disease."
Jester said while he appreciates the opportunity for Kathy to participate in the study, it has been time consuming and sometimes disappointing as the physicians adjust and readjust pacemaker settings. "The doctors assure us that [her settings] are on the best place possible and we need patience as she goes forward from here."
As for other potential downsides to participating in the research, the two patients who have had the pacemakers and battery packs surgically placed have had no complications, according to Scharre. Should they have any problems associated with the actual stimulation, it's easy to just turn it off, he noted.
Experts encouraged caution at this point in the study.
"This is interesting but preliminary research," said Maria Carrillo, vice president of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association. But it is good to see alternative treatment methods for Alzheimer's are being tested, she added.
Learn how to create a plan to deal with Alzheimer's from the Alzheimer's Association.
SOURCES: Douglas Scharre, M.D., neurologist and director, division of cognitive neurology, Ohio State University, Columbus; Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., vice president, medical and scientific relations, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago; Joseph Jester
All rights reserved