Experiments Look to Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists are experimenting with a new method of slowing damage from Alzheimer’s disease – brain pacemakers.
Alzheimer’s disease is a cognitive disorder that impacts nearly five million Americans, and as the baby boomers age that number is expected to increase. Those with Alzheimer’s may experience:
- memory loss;
- personality changes;
- emotional outbursts;
- social withdrawal;
- depression; and
- difficulty thinking and reasoning.
Severe cases of Alzheimer’s disease can impair otherwise healthy adults to the point where they are unable to work.
Treating Alzheimer’s Disease with Brain Implants
Ohio State University is one of a handful of medical programs in the U.S. researching the new treatment, known as deep brain stimulation (DBS). Current treatments for Alzheimer’s disease only target a few of the symptoms through medication, and no solution to the prevention of the disease has been found.
Doctors have been frustrated with inconsistent treatments and hope that DBS can help improve cognitive function to counteract the memory loss and mental control associated with this disabling condition.
Patients who undergo the DBS program have small holes drilled into their skull to implant electrodes. These electrodes send tiny electric shocks to the areas of the brain damaged by the disease, hoping that it will reactivate damaged connections.
Dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease as a Disabling Condition
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease begin with mild memory loss and may progress into greater loss of cognitive ability. Otherwise healthy adults may become unable to remember where their clothing is to dress themselves, or even how to button a shirt. At its more serious stages, the disease may be considered a disabling condition.
Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease may qualify for long-term disability benefits when they are of working age but can no longer function enough to work. When a person is unable to perform substantial gainful activity due to a disabling condition, they may be eligible to receive long-term disability benefits.
Memory loss and cognitive impairment can not only be a danger to a patient, but also to those around them in some cases. If a worker forgets important safety measures at their job, they may become a hazard to their co-workers. To avoid becoming a liability, adults who notice a decline in their ability to reason and recall information should seek a doctor’s evaluation.
Applying for Long-Term Disability Benefits
If you suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or any other disabling condition that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death, you may qualify for long-term disability benefits. To make this process easier, a disability representative can help you file and settle your benefits claim.
When you’re ready to get started, contact the Disability Help Group in South Florida to begin your claim. Call today – 1-(800)-800-3332.