Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a progressively debilitating disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, ultimately resulting in death.  Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among older persons, affecting 13% over age 64 and nearly 50% over 85.  Today, an estimated 5.9 million North Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, with the number expected to exceed 9 million by 2030 and 16 million by 2050.  The cost of Alzheimer’s to society in North America will exceed $200 billion this year.  

Effective Treatment Needed

Despite the devastating impact, there are currently no known treatments to prevent, cure or delay the progression of Alzheimer’s. The five medications currently approved for Alzheimer’s by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration act by either increasing the presence and activity of a key neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, or by regulating glutamate, a chemical messenger involved in learning and memory. These medications may temporarily reduce symptoms for some patients, but they do not change the underlying course of the disease. On average, the five approved Alzheimer's drugs are effective for about six to 12 months for about half of the individuals who take them.

A New Approach

Functional Neuromodulation takes a completely different approach to treating Alzheimer’s from current medication. The company is investigating deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the fornix, a major inflow and output pathway in the brain’s memory circuit that has been shown to be one of the first areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s. With the fornix critical to memory function, DBS of this structure may drive critical neural activity.

CAUTION — Investigational device. Limited by Federal law to investigational use.

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