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AD/PD 2023 | Transcranial pulse stimulation for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Lars Wojtecki, MD, PhD, Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology, University Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf, Germany, shares an update on current investigations into the use of transcranial pulse stimulation (TPS) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). TPS is a new non-invasive brain stimulation technique that utilizes single, ultrashort, shockwave pulses and is the first ultrasound-based stimulation technique approved for clinical applications (CE mark). In a small, non-randomized study, patients with AD were treated with an initial treatment cycle of 6 sessions over 2 weeks, followed by monthly booster sessions. Data at 3 months shows that the treatment was well tolerated, with only mild-moderate, transient side effects. Cognitive and affective scores were shown to improve significantly, regardless of baseline symptom severity. The few patients reaching 12 months of follow up showed symptom stabilization. As a very young research field, much remains unclear concerning efficacy, treatment protocols, and patient selection. Dr Wojtecki highlights some of the major questions that need clarifying in randomized, controlled trials, such as the extent of vascular pathology that is safe in patients being considered for TPS, efficacy in non-AD dementia, and how best to select patients based on imaging, electrophysiological, and fluid biomarkers. This interview took place at the AD/PD™ 2023 congress in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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Prof. Wojtecki is a consultant for Storz Medical.