Therapy Type: Procedural Intervention
Target Type: Other
Condition(s): Alzheimer's Disease
U.S. FDA Status: Alzheimer's Disease (Inactive)
Approved for: None
The accumulation of amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neurodegeneration is thought to be due at least in part to the failure to clear circulating soluble Aβ and tau. CSF shunts have been used for decades to treat hydrocephalus, and were proposed as a possible way to clear toxic species from the body, especially because aging is associated with reduced CSF turnover (May et al., 1990). Early reports had also suggested some improvement in patients with comorbid hydrocephalus and AD who were treated with a shunt (Savolainen et al., 1999). The working hypothesis behind this approach is that slow and continuous depletion of CSF may improve dementia symptoms by removing toxic species in the CSF, including Aβ, tau, and oxidized proteins.
- May C, Kaye JA, Atack JR, Schapiro MB, Friedland RP, Rapoport SI. Cerebrospinal fluid production is reduced in healthy aging. Neurology. 1990 Mar;40(3 Pt 1):500-3. PubMed.
- Savolainen S, Paljärvi L, Vapalahti M. Prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in patients investigated for presumed normal pressure hydrocephalus: a clinical and neuropathological study. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1999;141(8):849-53. PubMed.
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