J. B. is a now 80-year-old gentleman who lives with his wife G. B. in the far north of Germany. He is today again a contented and cheerful man, to whom in the telephone conversation with us it is hardly noticeable that he has lived until recently only quietly and withdrawn in his own world, detached from his environment and these hardly still perceiving. J. B. had led a very full life until his illness in 2018. The full-blooded entrepreneur, happily married to his wife G. B. for 60 years and father of three children, had moved from Saxony to northern Germany in the 1960s and built up a successful haulage business from nothing. As is often the case with entrepreneurs, the company was his life: Work, work and more work defined his days. But family was also important and traveling with his wife and children was always a welcome change. In terms of health, he was also doing well until 2010, when he had to undergo surgery for suspected bladder cancer and, of course, had to be put under general anesthesia. After the anesthesia he was beside himself for days, the after-effects only disappeared with time. At the beginning of 2018, J. B. had already handed over the company to the children, but continued to check on them every day, the first signs of forgetfulness became noticeable. He himself did not notice this at all, but family and co-workers soon realized that this could not just be a case of mere old-age forgetfulness.
On the way to diagnosis: the experiences with the neurologists horrify J. B.
After a visit to the family doctor, the family is referred to a neurologist. He runs initial tests and makes a diagnosis of “dementia.” This diagnosis is “slapped” on the family while laughing and celebrating: “Well, now you just have dementia, doesn’t matter, you can live with it, here, take rivastigmine for now, then come back in a few months.” (Note: The active ingredient rivastigmine belongs to the group of active ingredients known as cholinesterase inhibitors and is used to treat Alzheimer’s dementia and dementia in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The antidementive is intended to counteract the cognitive deficits by reducing the breakdown of acetylcholine). J. B. is horrified: How are they treating him here? Is he not a human being? No, he doesn’t want to go to this neurologist anymore; the family is looking for someone else.
He takes the rivastigmine, but the side effects get to him: He becomes more and more tired and listless. He continues to go steeply and rapidly downhill: While only his short-term memory has suffered so far, his sense of direction is now declining massively, and he is also stiffening physically and walks, if at all, with shuffling, clumsy steps. In 2019, one has been again to another neurologist, who has taken the case a little more intensively, but also knew no alternatives, J. B. must be operated because of a hernia. The general anesthesia really gives the dementia patient the rest. It takes weeks until he is halfway sane again, but the last vitality has gone out of him. He sleeps a lot, he no longer has any interest in anything, he no longer eats. His wife and daughter I. B., who now cares for her father together with her mother, cook his favorite meals, but he hardly touches any of them and loses more and more weight within a short time. Soon it is eight kilos less, J. B. is a shadow of his former self, also physically. The year 2020 and almost the entire year 2021 are characterized by suffering, decay and hopelessness. In the meantime, he has seen a third neurologist, who prescribes medication. Is there really nothing that can still help J. B.? No, they say everywhere, dementia is not curable, there is no medicine yet.
A glimmer of hope: RTL reports in the news about a new therapy called TPS.
In November 2021, the B. family, like so many other sufferers, learns about Transcranial Pulse Stimulation for the first time on RTL’s evening news. What is it, why don’t they know about it, why don’t the doctors say anything? I. B., the daughter of the affected person, researches and turns to Prof. Dr. med. Musa Citak in Hamburg, the expert for regenerative medicine was the protagonist in the RTL report. After extensive consultation in his practice, the family, including J. B.: Well, we’ll do it, there’s no other chance anyway. In March 2022, J. B. is treated with TPS six times within two weeks. But nothing happens: Nothing. J. B. is just as he was before the TPS treatment. The family reflects on what Prof. Citak explained: “Every brain, every person is different. It can take up to six months for the regenerative regulatory mechanisms in a brain to show their effects.” Time passes and the B. family slowly loses hope. The professor urges patience, he is an experienced TPS user and a specialist in regenerative medicine, but he also understands the concern of family B. Please be patient a little longer.
Patience is rewarded: at the end of May 2022, it “clicks”
And indeed: after repeated frustrating weeks, it is suddenly as if a switch had been flipped in J. B.’s brain! “At the end of May, it was as if someone had turned on the light,” reports daughter I. B. The silent, introverted J. B. speaks again, he converses with his wife, his children, with friends and relatives, he regains his orientation, he dresses himself again, he is no longer tired, and he eats again: steak and cake are a joy again, he gains 6 kilos over the coming weeks. J.B.’s personality is also returning. “He is actually almost the same in his nature as before,” says daughter I. B. and wife G. B. agrees: “He also watches TV again, he watches the news, we discuss what is happening in the world. He is cheerful and much more independent again. When friends and relatives come, he talks to them as if nothing had happened. We are all overwhelmed.”
Our conversation is coming to an end. Where is J. B. right now, anyway? “Oh, he’s just coming in, do you want to talk to him?” Of course I do. “Good afternoon, Mrs. Schmidt, how are you?” asks me Mr. B. He has a strong voice, he speaks clearly. Does he know what this phone call is about? “Yes, of course,” says Mr. B. “It’s about my treatment. It has done me a lot of good. I’m doing very well, I feel good.”
How does the B. family sum up their experience with Transcranial Pulse Stimulation? “We are all very glad that we got involved with TPS. Anything else would have been fatal,” says daughter I. B. “And we very much hope that TPS will also be possible for other sufferers. It is a real ray of hope, because what else is there for dementia diseases? And without any side effects for my father? Nothing. It is sad that the health insurance companies do not cover the costs. In any case, my father is spared a nursing home, because the monthly costs would be much higher, for us and for the insurance companies. An absolutely incomprehensible system.”