I found this info for you, if it is not what you want or need, please let me know. I can post more.
Emory University Health Sciences Center
Emory studies COGNIShunt device
for Alzheimer's teatment
Neurologists at Emory University are studying a possible new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease using a device called the COGNIShunt, designed to drain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the skull and into the abdominal cavity. By reducing the build-up of CSF around the brain, doctors hope this device will help to stabilize the disease.
CSF is the fluid that fills the empty spaces around the brain and spinal cord. The body naturally produces, absorbs, drains and replenishes the fluid. But with age, the replenishing process slows. "Past research shows that toxic and inflammatory substances are found in the cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer’s patients, which in turn, may lead to brain cell damage," says Allan Levey, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine and principal investigator of the Emory study. "We hope the COGNIShunt will help to drain off some of those toxins and allow the CSF to better replenish itself."
Shunting has long been used as treatment for hydrocephalus, a condition in which an abnormal accumulation of CSF causes neurological problems, including dementia, problems walking and incontinence.
In the Emory study, surgeons will surgically implant the COGNIShunt into a normal cavity, or ventricle, in the brain. Then they will tunnel a tube through the neck and into the abdominal cavity for proper drainage. It is a relatively short and common procedure that usually requires a one-to two-day hospital stay.
The duration of the study, at Emory and 11 other sites, is 18 months. The first nine months of the study is double-blind placebo, meaning all participants will receive the shunt but the shunt will not be open, or working, in the placebo group. The second nine months of the trial is open-label, meaning participants in the placebo group can have their shunt revised to be opened, so it will work. Eunoe, Inc., the maker of the COGNIShunt, is funding this clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and to test the hypothesis that the toxic and inflammatory factors in CSF contribute to the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.
An Alzheimer’s researcher for 15 years, Dr. Levey points out, "Treatment methods vary greatly in other diseases, but with Alzheimer’s, this is the first time more diverse, therapeutic options are being tested. We hope this surgical option will lead to dramatic benefits for these patients, and in the long run, open up even more avenues for surgical treatments. Surgical treatment options sometimes produce dramatic benefits and are rapidly gaining acceptance for related neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease."
In a pilot study of the COGNIShunt, the device was well tolerated by individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. As with most surgical procedures, there are some risks associated with implanting the device. The risks include infections, bleeding or a chance that the shunt or tube could stop working. But doctors hope to prove the benefits of this device will outweigh the risks.
Three other Emory doctors will serve as co-principal investigators of the study. They are Jim Lah, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology, Nelson Oyesiku, M.D., associate professor of neurosurgery, and Larry Tune, M.D. professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
Participants are being recruited for this study. Criteria include mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease with no other causes of dementia. Participants can remain on their prescribed medications throughout the trial. Participants must be between the ages of 62 and 85 and be in good, general health. To find out more about this study, call
As I have said, I have more information, but as of now, I am not sure what kind of information it is, that you are looking for.
Gizmo, You are wonderful. A friend did send me the article from Emory. But if you find any data from those using the Cognishunt, I would appreciate the information. Your take on the procedure was well expressed. Keep providing any materials you believe might help in this battle. Thank you. Bill Coyne
[This message has been edited by moderator2 (edited 01-30-2003).]
With my search engine, (not even sure that I can list that here?), I found 96 references to "cognishunt". There is a very big arena of information out there. I found one artical, but that was prepared by the manufacturer of the devise. And, I am sure that you realise that with the profits slanted in their direction, you would have to research their insights as to the real effectiveness of their own product. You can always ask competent non-partician medical professionals as to the real effectiveness of such a divise. However, I did go to the Alzheimer's site. And, I believe that I am allowed to list that here.
There I found 12 places throughout the US (Labortories and Universities), who are currently conducting clinical trials and research on this devise. Although the individual results are not listed, at least the University's and Lab's are.
Perhaps if you write to these institutions you could recieve information as to the results of such research, and their findings. I know that when my mom was diagnosed I recieved a report from John Hopkins University, (the John Hopkin's -- blue book study -- on "Alzheimer's and Dementia" a study conducted in 1980), This book became my "bible" on the care and treatment and understanding of this disease called, "Alzheimer's". I don't know what I would have done without it !!!
In my 50 some years exposure to, and 3 family members who have been aflicted with, this awful disease, believe me I am well aware of the frustration you are faceing. There is not a cure at this time. Stem Cell research does offer the best hope for that at this time. However, there are standard things that you can do, for your dear wife, that can empower YOU, and aid her greatly.
First off, make sure that she stays in optimum health. Blood pressure is very important. Threat AD like you would for heart attack. Keep her blood pressure DOWN, and keep her colestoral DOWN too. Clogged arteries and veins hurt the heart AND the brain. There are studies that do provide that certain vitimin theropy is very advisable in the slowing and the prevention of AD. I personally take Vit. B daily and a B complex. Some people sware by Ginko Baloba. And others make sure that their loved one takes plenty of calcuim and estrogen where needed. ERT (estregen replacement theropy) in the prevention of brain impairment was highly advised by my OBGYN. A good diet, high in protein and low in fat is good for anyone. And lots of vitimin suppliments and fruits and vegetables.
Physical exercise and mental exercise is valuable as long as you can get her to do it. It is stated in one study that a mentally allert and highly intelligent and well educated person uses more brain cells, and therefore it helps to keep stimulated mentally because with more brain cells to sacrifice to this disease, the longer you will have. (That's why photo albums and puzzles and games, and reading and any other stimulating brain activity(s) are highly incouraged in people with deminishing brain functioning).
But in the end there is no substitute for care and love. Keep her enviornment structured, but stress free. Keep her busy but not frustrated. Keep her brain active, but not stressed. Be helpful and supportive, don't correct or disagree. And, don't forget that drugs for Alzheimer's are just that. Drugs for Alzheimer's. But, alzheimer's is just one facet to her brain. There will be sub-problems as well. Problems with sleep, depression, anxiety, delusions aggitation, compulsion, and even anger. There is no need to put you and her through that. Keeping her happy and stable will make your life and your job as caregiver more managable and enjoyable. Not to mention the quality of live that it will bring to her.
Also, in your research, find what you can on the (if any) connection between: AD (Alzheimer's); PD (Parkinson's Disease), ADD (Attention Defisite Disorder); and Mini-strokes or cesures (many late stage AD surrers suffer from these sesures). Study the similarities and the drugs and treatments for such illnesses. This may open your mind up to other remedies and avenues of understanding on how the human brain is so complexed and precious.
Our human bodies are frail, but WE are strong (Thank God). And, it is amazing how everything by it's self is so fradgile, yet put together, we have this marvelous human being....
Keep up the good fight.
do keep us posted.
Oh Snowy, I am so terriable sorry to hear that !!! You are in my thoughts all the time. I think about you and wonder how you are doing, and appriciate so much your wonderful contribution to this board and to everyone, (I'm sure that your dear life touches). You are in my prayers girl, keep posting when ever and where ever you can. We all need your special kind of courage.
I am fine. Just celebrated the big 59. Makes you think when you get "up there", don't it? How wonderful life is, and how very finite. I made a pledge to myself, to get the most out of every single day. Set tiny goals, and take a step forward every day, little by little, step by step; until I get where I want to be. And, it will happen for me; it will happen for your to, I think. Because it has to, you know? We are worth it!
I am putting yesterday behind me now, and looking forward to tomorrow. Working for a better life, I think. And, YOU..., think of me in a year or maybe two, (from now), sailing away on my little sail boat. Following the sun, taking me where the winds are kindly, and the waters are warm, and the sun never sets on adventure.
I know it will be a lot of work, and I know that I am not young any more. But, dear Snowy, I know that I can do it, because I have to. And, you can follow your dreams to. Where ever that leads you, what ever life has in store? You can do it! Because we all have faith in you, and know your wonderful heart.!!!
Grab hold of life dear Snow....and squeeze the heck out of it !!!!
hee hee,I'm not out of the ballgame yet Giz.I'm still doing everything I did before,just less.I lose words,forget names of famous people,even friends,but I just pipe up&ask them,they are very helpful,& understanding.I forget how to spell some words,but I type anyway,hoping whoever reads It knows what I'm writing about.Life Is good.Getting ready for a trip to San Antonio,another respit reunion,with carepartners&affecteds.................. ..