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HHS, Cleveland Clinic Collaborate to Advance Treatment for Neurological Disorders

May 6 Meeting to Examine Impact of Deep Brain Stimulation, or 'Brain Pacemakers' on the Lives of Patients With Parkinson's Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury

WASHINGTON, April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Cleveland Clinic are teaming up to raise awareness about deep brain stimulation (DBS) and its impact on Americans with neurological disorders and disabilities.

HHS' Office on Disability and Cleveland Clinic's Center for Neurological Restoration will hold a one-day conference on May 6 to focus on the impact DBS, or brain pacemakers, has on patients' quality of life, level of functioning and return to work. Topics will also include improving access to care, encouraging medical innovation and research and examining ethical considerations.

Currently, DBS is approved by HHS' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia. Data is emerging regarding its benefit in treating patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression and most recently, traumatic brain injury (TBI).

"We are approaching a defining moment in the neurological field," said Ali Rezai, M.D., director of the Center for Neurological Restoration at Cleveland Clinic, and meeting co-chair. "This is the beginning of a new era for treating neurological and psychiatric disorders. DBS technology continues to improve, and we are encouraged by the results in patients."

"With the development of deep brain stimulation, individuals with serious neurological and psychiatric conditions have new hope for a better quality of life," said Margaret Giannini, M.D., director of the HHS Office on Disability and meeting co-chair. "While many challenges remain, the potential for this treatment is encouraging."

Speakers will include leading HHS officials such as FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D.

Leading DBS experts, neuroscientists, patients, patient advocacy groups and other federal officials will also participate.

The conference will take place at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. For more information on the event, visit

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2007, there were 3.5 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic and 50,455 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. Cleveland Clinic's Web site address is

HHS' Office on Disability was created in October 2002 in response to President Bush's New Freedom Initiative ( (NFI). The office oversees the implementation and coordination of disability programs, policies and special initiatives pertaining to the over 54 million persons with disabilities in the United States. The New Freedom Initiative established seven distinct domains in the area of disability: community integration, education, employment, health, housing, technology, and transportation. The Office on Disability focuses its efforts on these seven domains. The Director of the Office ( reports to the Secretary and serves as an advisor on HHS activities related to disabilities. For more information about the Office on Disability, its role within HHS and its current initiatives visit

SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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