Changes in cognitive impairment are a common part of the aging process and plague thousands of older adults each year. If you are caring for an aging parent who may be suffering from symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to understand how deep brain stimulation may help to improve Alzheimer’s disease although it is not a cure for it.
One of the complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease is not only a change in cognitive function, but also a change in neuromuscular function. Using deep brain stimulation, the neuromuscular function in many older adults can be improved and this, ultimately, can improve quality of life. In addition, for those Alzheimer’s patients who have issues with color blindness, this type of surgery may help to alleviate these symptoms as well.
Deep brain stimulation, in Alzheimer’s patients, is a surgical procedure that involves placement of a stimulation device that will encourage bilateral brain involvement. Because this type of surgery is most often successful in older adults who suffer from repetitive movements, or abnormal mobility in response to Alzheimer’s, the procedure may not be recommended during the initial phase of Alzheimer’s disease progression.
As your aging parent begins to show more physical signs of Alzheimer’s disease, this will be the time in which you will want to discuss the use of deep brain stimulation. While there can be some cognitive improvement with this procedure, it is most ideal when used to manage the physical movement complications associated with advanced Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
Once deep brain stimulation is successfully utilized in an Alzheimer’s patient, there is typically an improvement in mood and an improvement in social interaction as the patient becomes more confident in their movement and mobility. However, keep in mind that even when these advances in social interaction take place, the condition will not improve cognitive function so the continued decline in thoughts and reasoning may still be apparent.
While there are many avenues that can be taken in the treatment of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, most family members are faced with the complicated decisions of address physical symptoms over mental health symptoms. If you feel that your aging parent’s emotional health is adversely affected by physical mobility issues, then deep brain stimulation may be the key to overcoming both of these issues. Ask your parent’s doctor about the use of this neurological surgery to improve neuromuscular function.
Sources: Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s, by Joanne Coste