Deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Alzheimer disease and dementias

World Neurosurg. Sep-Oct 2013;80(3-4):S28.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2012.06.028. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


Objective: To review the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment of dementia.

Methods: A PubMed literature search was conducted to identify all studies that have investigated the use of DBS for treatment of dementia.

Results: Three studies examined the use of DBS for dementia. One study involved fornix DBS for Alzheimer disease (AD), and two studies involved DBS of the nucleus basalis of Meynert, one to treat AD and one to treat Parkinson disease dementia.

Conclusions: Evidence for the use of DBS to treat dementia is preliminary and limited. Fornix and nucleus basalis of Meynert DBS can influence activity in the pathologic neural circuits that underlie AD and Parkinson disease dementia. Further investigation into the potential clinical effects of DBS for dementia is warranted.

Keywords: AD; ADAS-Cog; AN; Alzheimer disease; Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale–Cognitive Subscale; Anterior nucleus of thalamus; DBS; Deep brain stimulation; Dementia; FDG; Fluorodeoxyglucose; MMSE; Mini-Mental State Examination; NBM; Nucleus basalis of Meynert; PD; PDD; PET; Parkinson disease; Parkinson disease dementia; Positron emission tomography; STN; Standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography; Subthalamic nucleus; sLORETA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Basal Nucleus of Meynert / physiology
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / ethics
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Dementia / etiology
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Fornix, Brain / surgery
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / physiology
  • Memory / physiology
  • Parkinson Disease / complications