“Up until now, we weren’t sure how deep brain stimulation would affect driving,” said study author Carsten Buhmann, MD, of University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany.
“On the one hand, it might enhance driving ability by improving the motor problems which occur with Parkinson’s disease, but on the other hand, it might hamper driving because it potentially causes a decline in executive cognitive skills.”
The study involved 23 people who had deep brain stimulators, 21 people with Parkinson’s disease who did not have stimulators and 21 people who did not have Parkinson’s disease. All of the participants had been driving at least once a week for more than 30 minutes within the previous three years. All were tested with a driving simulator. Those with stimulators completed the test three times: once with the stimulator on, once with it off and once with the stimulator off and after they were given the Parkinson’s drug levodopa.
Looking at driving errors, the people with Parkinson’s without stimulators performed worse than the control participants in every category except one, while the people with deep brain stimulators did not perform significantly worse than the controls in any category, and even performed better in the category of slight errors. Those with stimulators had an average of 3.8 slight driving errors on the test, compared to 7.5 for the controls and 11.4 for those with Parkinson’s disease who did not have stimulators.
When looking at the tests of people with stimulators when they were turned on or off and off with levodopa, the driving was more accurate with stimulation on than with levodopa, with a total of 13 errors during the test on levodopa, compared to 11 with stimulation and 14 with neither treatment.
The study was supported by the Georg & Jürgen Rickertsen Foundation in Hamburg.
To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, please visit www.aan.com/patients.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 26,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy