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Deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

Faber, A.I.E. (2010) Deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are characterized by neurodegeneration of the cholinergic system and cholinergic neurons in the nucleus basalis of Meynert. Those neurons are the source for the cholinergic innervation of the cortical mantle, olfactory bulb, hippocampus and amygdala. Loss of the cholinergic system and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine goes together with an impairment in many forms of memory, and early loss of episodic memory is the main character of Alzheimer’s disease. Impairment of executive and attentional function are the initial and early prominent cognitive features of Parkinson’s disease dementia. Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, is the most successful way to treat Alzheimer’s disease until now. Unfortunately this therapy does not stop the degeneration of the cholinergic neurons in the nucleus basalis of Meynert. Perhaps electrical stimulation of these neurons via deep brain stimulation will prevent this neurodegeneration and improves the memory of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients. This suggestion is supported by a recent study in which memory tasks in a patient with Parkinson’s disease dementia were improved after deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert. Even though this approach of treating memory problems following loss of cholinergic neurons is new and little is known about the effects, the application of deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease dementia is very promising. Symptoms of cognitive impairment can be reduced and maybe even delayed by the prevention of cholinergic neuron cell death with electric stimulation.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:31
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:31
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/9293

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