Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Deep brain stimulation offers benefits against Parkinson’s

26.09.2003


Deep brain stimulation via electrodes implanted on both sides of the brain markedly improves the motor skills of patients with advanced Parkinson’s Disease, says a new long-term study by researchers at the University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital.



"We saw a pronounced decrease in the motor scores associated with Parkinson’s Disease - the tremors, stiffness and slowness - and this benefit was persistent through the course of the long-term followup," says Dr. Anthony Lang, professor in U of T’s division of neurology, the Jack Clark Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research at the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. He and his colleagues used the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) to evaluate both the features of the disease as well as the side-effects of medication. They found motor scores decreased an average of 48 per cent. "This is quite substantial when you compare it to other trials of therapy for Parkinson’s Disease," he says.

In the September issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery, Lang and his colleagues describe the first long-term followup of deep brain stimulation on the subthalamic nucleus (one of the deep nuclei in the brain that sits just above the area known as the midbrain). The subthalamic nucleus is part of the group that co-ordinates automatic movements.


Between 1996 and 2001, Lang and his colleagues followed 25 patients who had electrodes implanted into the region of the subthalamic nucleus on both sides of the brain; the electrodes were wired under the skin to pacemaker-like devices. The frequency and intensity of stimulation was adjusted; patients were monitored and evaluated prior to and after surgery while on and off medication.

When patients were off medication, the UPDRS score - which measures both motor skills and the ability of patients to perform daily living activities - improved after one year, decreasing by 42 per cent. Medication requirements also diminished substantially - dosages were reduced by 38 per cent one year after surgery and 36 per cent at their last evaluation.

Researchers believe the reduction in medication dosage may also partly account for the significant decrease in dyskinesia scores. Dyskinesia - abnormal involuntary movements - are side effects of medications like levodopa where patients exhibit rapid and repetitive motions of the limbs, face and neck or display slow, involuntary movements of the hands and feet.

"One of the important features we found is that not all symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease respond equally to treatment," notes Lang. "Over time, the tremors, stiffness and, to a lesser extent, the slowness continue to respond to surgery and medication. But certain features of the illness such as speech, stability and difficulty with walking benefit less from therapy over the course of long-term followup."

Lang warns that deep brain stimulation will not prevent the disease from worsening, slow its progression or prevent the development of later problems like dementia. However, he says that younger patients like the ones in their study (average age of 57 at the time of surgery) with advanced Parkinson’s Disease did experience sustained improvement in motor function for an average of two years after the procedure as well as a reduced need for medication.

Dr. Andres Lozano, the holder of the R.R. Tasker Chair in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at U of T and a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital, co-directed this research with Lang and the other members of their team - Galit Kleiner-Fisman, Jean Saint-Cyr and Elspeth Sime of Toronto Western Hospital and David Fisman of McMaster University. This study was supported by the National Parkinson’s Disease Foundation in the U.S., the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, the Jack Clark Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research at U of T, Medtronics in Minneapolis, Minn., and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Janet Wong | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>