According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, the device is equipped with six electrodes strategically placed around the range, where the impulses have direct access to the temporal lobe of the brain, which is involved in the regulation of sensory input.
Statistics show that 10 people age 65 and over suffer from Alzheimer’s dementia, and 13.8 million people in the United States age 65 and over are expected to develop Alzheimer’s dementia by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The University of Otago team has set out to combat these numbers, with lead investigator, Associate Professor Yusef Ozgur Cakmak of the Department of Anatomy in Otago, says the promising early results are paving the way for the development of the world’s first non-invasive wearable electrical stimulation system to target regions of the sense of smell.
“The olfactory nerves have extremities deep in areas of the brain that affect memory and mobility, and we hope that this method will help stimulate these networks to alleviate symptoms or suppress the progression of Alzheimer’s disease to dementia,” Cakmak added.
As this method has the ability to aid in recovering from coma and Parkinson’s disease, the device is a thin tape that is placed over the ears and around the face.
Cakmak and his team believe that electrical impulses can stimulate the olfactory system to reduce or reverse the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as awaken a patient from a coma.
“Our results pave the way for the development of the first non-invasive, wearable electrical stimulation system to target areas of the sense of smell that can help relieve symptoms or suppress the development of these neurological disorders,” said Cakmak.