New Treatment Gives Hope To Parkinson’s Patients

January 7, 2009

US (ChattahBox) – A new treatment for Parkinson’s Disease is showing a vast improvement to patient’s motor skills, creating hope of further advances using deep brain stimulation.

The treatment uses surgically implanted electrodes to send current through the brain, a procedure that, while effective, has shown some major side effects that have worried physicians, such as severe depression, heart problems, increased risk of falls, infection, and, in the case of one patient, fatal brain hemorrhage.

However, many doctors feel that the risks are worth it and perhaps better screening is necessary for minimizing the risks. Because the tests, performed at various VA hospitals across the country, have shown incredible improvement in a patient’s ability to function normally, and eliminates much of the shaking caused by prolonged use of medication, even in patients older then 70.

“The amount of time that patients were able to move normally increased by 4.6 hours,” said Dr. Frances Weaver of the Hines VA Hospital. “Our best medical therapy patient, on average, showed no improvement.”


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