Navigation Links
Long-term spinal cord stimulation stalls symptoms of Parkinson's-like disease
Date:1/23/2014

DURHAM, N.C. -- Researchers at Duke Medicine have shown that continuing spinal cord stimulation appears to produce improvements in symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and may protect critical neurons from injury or deterioration.

The study, performed in rats, is published online Jan. 23, 2014, in the journal Scientific Reports. It builds on earlier findings from the Duke team that stimulating the spinal cord with electrical signals temporarily eased symptoms of the neurological disorder in rodents.

"Finding novel treatments that address both the symptoms and progressive nature of Parkinson's disease is a major priority," said the study's senior author Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at Duke University School of Medicine. "We need options that are safe, affordable, effective and can last a long time. Spinal cord stimulation has the potential to do this for people with Parkinson's disease."

Parkinson's disease is caused by the progressive loss of neurons that produce dopamine, an essential molecule in the brain, and affects movement, muscle control and balance.

L-dopa, the standard drug treatment for Parkinson's disease, works by replacing dopamine. While L-dopa helps many people, it can cause side effects and lose its effectiveness over time. Deep brain stimulation, which emits electrical signals from an implant in the brain, has emerged as another valuable therapy, but less than 5 percent of those with Parkinson's disease qualify for this treatment.

"Even though deep brain stimulation can be very successful, the number of patients who can take advantage of this therapy is small, in part because of the invasiveness of the procedure," Nicolelis said.

In 2009, Nicolelis and his colleagues reported in the journal Science that they developed a device for rodents that sends electrical stimulation to the dorsal column, a main sensory pathway in the spinal cord carrying information from the body to the brain. The device was attached to the surface of the spinal cord in rodents with depleted levels of dopamine, mimicking the biologic characteristics of someone with Parkinson's disease. When the stimulation was turned on, the animals' slow, stiff movements were replaced with the active behaviors of healthy mice and rats.

Because research on spinal cord stimulation in animals has been limited to the stimulation's acute effects, in the current study, Nicolelis and his colleagues investigated the long-term effects of the treatment in rats with the Parkinson's-like disease.

For six weeks, the researchers applied electrical stimulation to a particular location in the dorsal column of the rats' spinal cords twice a week for 30-minute sessions. They observed a significant improvement in the rats' symptoms, including improved motor skills and a reversal of severe weight loss.

In addition to the recovery in clinical symptoms, the stimulation was associated with better survival of neurons and a higher density of dopaminergic innervation in two brain regions controlling movement the loss of which cause Parkinson's disease in humans. The findings suggest that the treatment protects against the loss or damage of neurons.

Clinicians are currently using a similar application of dorsal column stimulation to manage certain chronic pain syndromes in humans. Electrodes implanted over the spinal cord are connected to a portable generator, which produces electrical signals that create a tingling sensation to relieve pain. Studies in a small number of humans worldwide have shown that dorsal column stimulation may also be effective in restoring motor function in people with Parkinson's disease.

"This is still a limited number of cases, so studies like ours are important in examining the basic science behind the treatment and the potential mechanisms of why it is effective," Nicolelis said.

The researchers are continuing to investigate how spinal cord stimulation works, and are beginning to explore using the technology in other neurological motor disorders.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rachel Harrison
rachel.harrison@duke.edu
919-419-5069
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Long-term research reveals causes and consequences of environmental change
2. Sexual reproduction brings long-term benefits, study shows
3. Long-term preservation: Pensoft Publishers partner with the CLOCKSS Archive
4. Model forecasts long-term impacts of forest land-use decisions
5. Study shows long-term effects of radiation in pediatric cancer patients
6. Is long-term weight loss possible after menopause?
7. New long-term antimicrobial catheter developed
8. Preeclampsia poses a significant long-term health risk according to new research from Ben-Gurion U.
9. Preemies brains reap long-term benefits from Kangaroo Mother Care
10. Site-specific, long-term research expanding understanding of climate change
11. Tsunami caused long-term ecosystem change in the Caribbean
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Long-term spinal cord stimulation stalls symptoms of Parkinson's-like disease
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016 Vigilant Solutions announces today that an agency ... develop a lead in a difficult homicide case. The agency ... locate the suspect vehicle. Due to the ongoing investigation, the ... omitted at the agency,s request. --> ... victim was found deceased at an intersection here in the ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , February 3, 2016 ... market research report "Automated Fingerprint Identification System Market by ... Search), Application (Banking & Finance, Government, Healthcare, and Transportation) ... MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 21.0% between 2015 and 2020. The transformation and technology ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors for ... Market Are you interested in the future ... for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those predictions ... and national level. Avoid falling behind in ... opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies can ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 Early-career researchers from ... , Uganda and Yemen ... and nutrition   Indonesia , Nepal ... and Yemen are being honored for their accomplishments ... also celebrated for mentoring young women scientists who are pursuing careers in ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb.10, 2016 ASAE is introducing ... Association Management Companies (AMC) the option of joining or ... annual fee determined by staff size, every employee in ... join ASAE and reap all available member benefits.   ... "Our new organizational membership options will allow organizations of ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ) ... Brent Saunders , Allergan,s CEO and President, will be ... session at the RBC Capital Markets Healthcare Conference on ... The New York Palace Hotel in New ... live and can be accessed on Allergan,s Investor Relations ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on ... fill more than 100 tables for its annual event, which will run from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: