Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) with TPS as an add-on treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Further data on Transcranial Pulse Stimulation (TPS) presented at EAN 2024 in Helsinki

Among non-drug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), vascular dementia and Parkinson’s dementia, accompanying measures such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy, music and art therapy as well as behavioral therapy have so far been understood. Non-invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) methods such as Transcranial Pulse Stimulation (TPS) have been an increasingly relevant topic in specialist circles and at international scientific congresses for some time as possible add-on therapies, and – with regard to the additive treatment options for neurodegenerative diseases – are the subject of lively discussion.

Scientific research on the efficacy and safety of Transcranial Pulse Stimulation (TPS)

Transcranial Pulse Stimulation (TPS) is being intensively researched due to its effectiveness. Since 2022, around 38 new studies and scientific papers have been published showing that TPS is a promising therapeutic option for various indications (see also: ). This research not only confirms the high efficacy of TPS, but also its excellent patient safety. It should be particularly emphasized that any side effects observed are not clinically relevant. This makes TPS a particularly well-tolerated treatment option, which is also becoming increasingly important for healthcare systems.

German Medical Journal: Possible benefit of Transcranial Pulse Stimulation in Alzheimer’s

In a summary of the data presented at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Helsinki in June 2024, the Deutsches Ärzteblatt also reported on July 1, 2024 on the promising results on TPS in Alzheimer’s presented by the Neuss working group led by Prof. Ulrich Sprick, Head of the Department of Research and Development and Head of the Center for Neurostimulation at the Alexius/Josef Hospital in Neuss. The data, published in the European Journal of Neurology, offer interesting insights into the potential benefits of this non-invasive and outpatient shockwave method.

Current results from Neuss: high efficacy, no long-term side effects

The Neuss researchers, led by Prof. Ulrich Sprick, were one of the first centers worldwide to use TPS since 2022. In Helsinki, they presented data from 86 patients with an average age of 75.8 years. Dementia was diagnosed in accordance with the currently valid German guideline. Each patient received six TPS therapy sessions over two weeks, with pulses applied individually bilaterally to the frontal, parietal and temporal cortex based on MRI images.

A significant part of the study involved 52 patients who underwent a color-word interference test (Stroop test) before and after treatment. 82 percent of the patients were able to maintain or improve their speed in the Stroop test. No long-term side effects were observed in any patient, which underlines the patient safety of the method.

The working group concludes that TPS can improve cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s patients. However, they emphasize the need for further placebo-controlled studies with larger samples in order to prove the efficacy of TPS in Alzheimer’s disease beyond doubt.

TPS: Further placebo-controlled studies in progress

Such studies are currently being conducted at renowned universities and institutions around the world. With the increasing number of publications, hope is growing for those affected and their relatives that therapies such as TPS will soon be available to more patients. It would also be beneficial for society, which is under great strain due to rising costs and an extreme increase in the number of people in need of care, if non-drug Alzheimer’s therapies such as TPS could open up new and meaningful ways of treatment in more clinics and practices as a supplement to medication.