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HHS, Cleveland Clinic Collaborate to Advance Treatment for Neurological Disorders
Date:4/25/2008

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, p
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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