Ethics Review Urges Changes to Deep Brain Stimulation Trials for Alzheimer’s Disease

Ethics Review Urges Changes to Deep Brain Stimulation Trials for Alzheimer’s Disease
Trials of deep brain stimulation for Alzheimer’s disease bring with them unique ethical challenges that need to be addressed because these studies are progressing, researchers argue in a recent review article. The trio behind the review — researchers from the University of Pennsylvania — not only raised points for concern, but also provided potential solutions to issues dealing with decision-making in Alzheimer's patients and post-trial access to treatment. In this way, the ethics review, “Deep Brain Stimulation for Alzheimer’s Disease: Ethical Challenges for Clinical Research,” laid out guidelines for researchers who are considering starting trials of deep brain stimulation in Alzheimer’s patients. The article was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. "As the number of people affected by Alzheimer's continues to grow, along with its substantial costs to individuals, their families, and society, novel therapies are urgently needed," Andrew M. Siegel, MD, a study author and an assistant professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn, said in a press release. “Deep brain stimulation is one such treatment modality that has shown promising early results. However, this enthusiasm should be tempered by prudent ethical considerations to help better protect the patients," he said. Although more well-known in the context of Parkinson’s disease treatment, de
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