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Cedars-Sinai movement disorders expert on international task force for dystonia treatment
Date:7/21/2011

me to be assigned a leadership role in this kind of effort."

Dystonia causes muscles to contract, with the affected body part twisting involuntarily. There are several types of dystonia, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The Food and Drug Administration approved deep brain stimulation as a therapy for certain treatment-resistant dystonias in 2003 after approving it for essential tremor in 1997 and Parkinson's disease in 2002. The procedure recently was approved on a limited basis for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

"The fantastic thing is that with a certain type of dystonia young-onset dystonia DBS is not just a good therapy, but it can be a miraculous therapy, and I don't hesitate to use that term," said Tagliati, who has studied deep brain stimulation for more than a decade. "We have videos that are mind-boggling because they show kids in wheelchairs, with very bad distortions, who become normal. Not 80 percent better. Normal. They go and play basketball."

The device consists of electrical leads implanted in the brain and a stimulator located near the collarbone. The stimulator is programmed with a remote, handheld controller to modulate abnormal nerve signals that cause the uncontrollable muscle contractions of dystonia. According to studies cited by the task force, the procedure provides sustained benefit for patients with dystonia for up to three years and evidence grows that positive outcomes may extend up to 10 years.

Tagliati said DBS therapy is not effective in all cases and device implantation and programming are not without risk. The mechanism and batteries themselves can be subject to failure, although newer devices and redundant power sources reduce these risks. "Our studies and the published article point out that adverse events occasionally occur with DBS, and these range from annoying to life-threatening, with speech abnormalities being the most common programming side effects. The article offers recomme
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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
808-526-1708
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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