Alzheimer's breakthrough?

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Deep brain stimulation enhanced the memory of epilepsy patients with recall problems, a small study has found.

Neurologists say this result “breaks new ground” in exploratory treatments for Alzheimer's and dementia.

In a study of seven epilepsy patients, surgeons drilled holes in participants' skulls in order to stimulate the entorhinal area in the brain — one of the first areas to be damaged by Alzheimer's. When this area of the brain was stimulated, the participants demonstrated improvement in their short-term memory.

The study was published in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.