World Alzheimer's Day - As the planet turns its attention to World Alzheimer's Day, an emerging technology using focused computer brain exercises may offer new hope to Alzheimer's patients and their families.
The NeuroAD system works like this: patients solve challenging computer exercises ranging from identifying colors, shapes, letters and animals to solving memory games. Simultaneously, the very same regions of the patient's brain responsible for memory and learning receive electromagnetic stimulation, which reactivates brain cell activity.
The combined treatment may work more effectively than either would alone. It has already shown promising interim results in a clinical trial at Harvard University, following significant statistical and clinical results from studies in Israel. The NeuroAD system not only stopped patients' symptoms from deteriorating, in some cases it actually improved patients' cognitive performance to a greater extent than what is currently available with approved medications.
"It is a completely new and different approach, safe, noninvasive, and painless," said Professor of Neurology Alvaro Pascual-Leone of Harvard Medical School, who directed the Harvard trial. "Tests have shown significant improvement of cognitive functions. As a result, patients' daily activities such as taking care of themselves, speaking, and even recognizing their loved ones have improved dramatically."
"Wherever we go, physicians are eager to hear about this new technology because nothing else is available to help patients," said Eyal Baror, CEO of Israel-based Neuronix, the company behind the NeuroAD system. "NeuroAD is CE certified, which means centers in Europe and Asia are already using the device to great success. We are also aiming at FDA approval within the coming years. It may be a real game-changer for the management of Alzheimer's disease."
Developers are hoping that additional trials now set to take place at leading neuroscience centers in New York, Nevada and Arizona, in addition to continued work in Boston, will confirm these earlier findings.