Deep Brain Stimulation Benefits People with Parkinson’s Disease

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS), a Parkinson's Disease treatment method, appears to offer previously unknown long-term benefits to people afflicted with the disorder, according to WebMD.com.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, DBS involves the insertion of a pacemaker-like device into the brain. Doctors use this device to convey electrical currents to incite certain areas of the brain with the goal of hindering the impulses that contribute to Parkinson's disease.

Researchers from the University of Toronto conducted a 10-year study on a group of Parkinson's patients who had DBS devices implanted into their brains, and found a 23% enhancement in their ability to move rapidly, a 25% increase in overall ability to move, and an 85% improvement in tremors. The results were published in the Archives of Neurology.

A study published in 2009 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, also noted the benefits of DBS, according to USA Today.

Researchers from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke found that only 32% of people undergoing medical therapy treatment for Parkinson's had improved within six months of beginning treatment, while more than 70% of people undergoing DBS treatment saw improvement. However, DBS patients had a higher incidence of cognitive decline and infection, though these problems generally resolved themselves over time.

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