Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Operation makes dementia patients faster and smarter

25.01.2011
Researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital are the first in the world to show that an operation can help patients with dementia caused by white matter changes and hydrocephalus.

Presented in the American Journal of Neurosurgery, the results are based on the world’s first study to demonstrate the effects of a shunt operation using a placebo control.

14 patients were followed for an average of three and a half years after the operation, with half being given a non-functioning shunt – in other words a sham operation – and the other half a functioning shunt. This is the equivalent to the placebo given in drug trials to determine how much of the treatment’s effect is down to the patient’s and others’ expectations.

“For obvious reasons, this is problematic in a surgical context and surgical placebo studies are highly unusual,” says Magnus Tisell, docent at the Sahlgrenska Academy and consultant neurosurgeon at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. “However, if you can actually do this kind of study, the level of evidence is the highest possible – class 1.”

The researchers found that patients’ mental functions and ability to walk improved tangibly after having a shunt inserted. Half were given an open shunt right from the start and showed immediate improvement, while the other half were initially given a closed shunt and improved only after three months when the shunt was opened.

“Shunt operations have long been used for hydrocephalus, but this study offers more scientifically conclusive results to support the effect of the treatment, and also shows that shunt operations can help far more patients than previously believed with their walking and memory,” says Tisell.

Surgery is not generally used today for patients with hydrocephalus and white matter changes. But the researchers’ findings pave the way for a brand new group of patients who could benefit from a shunt operation.

“We believe that far more patients than is currently the case could benefit from a shunt operation, which will require more resources,” says Tisell. “We also need to find out more about which patients are good candidates for the operation and which shunt is best in each particular case.”

HYDROCEPHALUS
Hydrocephalus is caused by excessive fluid collecting in the brain’s cavities. Patients often have problems walking, and their ability to think and remember is also affected. The fluid can be drained through a shunt, a narrow plastic tube that is surgically inserted into one of the brain’s cavities and linked to the stomach or heart. In some cases keyhole surgery can make it possible for the fluid to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Around 400 adults a year receive surgery for different types of hydrocephalus in Sweden.
For more information, please contact:
Magnus Tisell,
docent at the Sahlgrenska Academy and consultant neurosurgeon at Sahlgrenska
University Hospital,
tel. +46 (0)73 400 2029
e-mail: magnus.tisell@vgregion.se
Journal: Journal of Neurosurgery
Title: Shunt surgery in patients with hydrocephalus and white matter changes.
Authors: Magnus Tisell ,Mats Tullberg, Per Hellström, Mikael Edsbagge, Mats Högfeldt, Carsten Wikkelsö

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/

Further reports about: Hydrocephalus Neurosurgery dementia drug trial

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>