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Home Industry News New study shows benefits of shunt operations for dementia

New study shows benefits of shunt operations for dementia

27th January 2011

A groundbreaking study has helped to illustrate the benefits certain dementia patients can experience via shunt insertion procedures.

The University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital conducted a trial among 14 patients with dementia caused by white matter changes and hydrocephalus, with half being given a working shunt and the remainder a non-functional device.

It represents the first ever study to evaluate the effects of shunt operations via placebo control, as surgical placebo trials are extremely uncommon and difficult to accomplish.

The research revealed that those with functioning open shunts experienced improvements in mental functions and walking speed that were far greater than previously estimated.

Magnus Tisell, consultant neurosurgeon at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, said: "We believe that far more patients than is currently the case could benefit from a shunt operation, which will require more resources."

Alzheimer's Research Trust figures show that around 820,000 people in the UK currently suffer from dementia, a figure that is expected to rise due to the ageing population.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800369457-ADNFCR

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