In January, the neurosurgical department of the LMU University Hospital in Munich treated the first Parkinson's patient worldwide with a new neurostimulator, which enables better, more personalized care for patients. The new technology can possibly enable stimulation to be adjusted to the treatment requirements of different situations (e.g. walking, speaking, sleeping) and therefore optimize treatment outcome. Even “complex” everyday situations such as talking and walking at the same time should become easier for patients to manage. The neurosurgeons at the LMU University Hospital were also involved in the development of the new technology during clinical studies.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is delivered through a medical device, similar to a pacemaker, that controls electrodes in the brain and electrically stimulates precisely defined areas. DBS has been used to treat neurological movement disorders for decades. This new generation of THS systems was now first placed in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of a patient suffering from Parkinson's.
The system does not only deliver impulses to the brain, it also features the so-called BrainSense technology that enables the constant recording of patients’ brain signals. These recordings can then be evaluated by a physician to optimize stimulation delivery. Up until now, recordings of this kind were not possible.
Treatment plans were optimized based on movement tests carried out in the clinic and - often incomplete - patient records. This new technology allows for brain waves to be continuously recorded, which combined with events recorded by the patient himself (including symptoms or side effects of medication), now enable targeted, personalized and data-controlled neurostimulation.
“DBS is proven to significantly improve motor function in people with Parkinson’s disease compared to standard medication alone and has successfully been used for many years in the treatment of neurological movement disorders,” says PD Dr. Jan H. Mehrkens, Head of Functional Neurology at the LMU Clinic for Neurosurgery in Munich.
“Since we were already able to gain experience with the prototype during clinical studies, we have now come full circle in the development of new DBS technologies for Parkinson's patients.” Prof. Dr. Kai Boetzel, LMU clinic for Neurology added: “The new stimulator can measure the activity of the brain’s motor centers and react to it with different stimulation strengths. We will scientifically investigate, whether this ‘feedback stimulation’ is superior to the previous continuous stimulation.”
Parkinson's disease is the second most common disorder of the central nervous system after Alzheimer's disease. Around one percent of the world’s population over the age of 60 is affected. In Germany roughly 400,000 people suffer from it. Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressing condition.
Gradually, the death of dopamine-producing nerve cells negatively affects the motor system. Parkinson's itself cannot be healed, therapy focuses on alleviating the symptoms. Treatment typically starts with medication to help reduce movement symptoms by increasing dopamine in the brain or mimicking its effects. When the disease has progressed, there are surgical options that include DBS.
The neurostimulator with "BrainSense" technology is approved in the EU for the treatment of symptoms in connection with Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, epilepsy and obsessive-compulsive disorder. For approval in the United States, it is currently under review by the United States Department of Health (FDA).
PD Dr. Jan-Hinnerk Mehrkens
LMU Clinic for Neurosurgery
LMU University Hospital Munich
Phone: +49 (0)89 4400 72899
Prof. Dr. Kai Boetzel
LMU Clinic for Neurology
LMU University Hospital Munich
Phone: +49 (0)89 4400 73673
Philipp Kressirer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
High-tech printing may help eliminate painful shots
04.02.2020 | Rutgers University
Wearable health tech gets efficiency upgrade
31.01.2020 | North Carolina State University
At the end of December 2019, the first cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus were reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Since then, infections...
A team of researchers from Switzerland, the US and Poland have found evidence of a uniquely high density of hydrogen atoms in a metal hydride. The smaller spacings between the atoms might enable packing significantly more hydrogen into the material to a point where it could begin to superconduct at room temperature and ambient pressure.
The scientists conducted neutron scattering experiments at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the US on samples of zirconium vanadium hydride at...
An international research group with Dr. Longjian Xie from the Bavarian Research Institute of Experimental Geochemistry & Geophysics (BGI) of the University of Bayreuth has succeeded for the first time in measuring the viscosity that molten solids exhibit under the pressure and temperature conditions found in the lower earth mantle. The data obtained support the assumption that a bridgmanite-enriched rock layer was formed during the early history of the earth at a depth of around 1,000 kilometres – at the border to the upper mantle.
In addition, the data also provides indications that the lower mantle contains larger reservoirs of materials that originated in an early magma ocean and have...
According to Einstein's general relativity, the rotation of a massive object produces a dragging of space-time in its vicinity. This effect has been measured, in the case of the Earth’s rotation, with satellite experiments. With the help of a radio pulsar, an international team of scientists (with important contributions from scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany) were able to detect the swirling of the space-time around its fast-rotating white dwarf-companion star, and thus confirm the theory behind the formation of this unique binary star system.
In 1999, a unique binary system was discovered with the Australian Parkes Radio Telescope in the constellation Musca (the Fly), close to the famous Southern...
Scientists from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) have carried out pioneering optical measurements of highly charged ions with unprecedented precision. To do this, they isolated a single Ar¹³⁺ ion from an extremely hot plasma and brought it practically to rest inside an ion trap together with a laser-cooled, singly charged ion. Employing quantum logic spectroscopy on the ion pair, they have increased the relative precision by a factor of a hundred million over previous methods. This opens up the multitude of highly charged ions for novel atomic clocks and further avenues in the search for new physics. [Nature, 29.01.2020]
Highly charged ions are—although seemingly exotic—a very natural form of visible matter. All the matter in our sun and in all other stars is highly ionized,...
16.01.2020 | Event News
15.01.2020 | Event News
07.01.2020 | Event News
07.02.2020 | Health and Medicine
07.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy
07.02.2020 | Life Sciences