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 Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

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: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>