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 Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>