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Parkinson's treatment shows positive results in clinical testing
Date:1/11/2012

will hopefully provide exciting new opportunities for Parkinson's sufferers."

Only patients who have had Parkinson's disease for five years or more were included in the study. They were randomly assigned to a control group that delayed the onset of stimulation for three months, or a group whose stimulation began shortly after surgery. All patients were followed for 12 months.

The deep brain stimulation procedure involves surgeons implanting small electrodes into an area of the patient's brain that controls movement. The electrodes are connected to a device precisely programmed to use mild electrical current to modulate problematic brain signals that result in movement problems.

Today's voltage-controlled DBS devices deliver pulses of current that vary slightly with surrounding tissue changes. The DBS devices tested in this study are intended to provide more accurate delivery and control of the electrical pulses.

"We are committed to driving research that will provide solutions for physicians and their patients whose needs are currently unmet," said Rohan Hoare, president of St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division. "These results are significant as they offer evidence that stimulation with the Libra constant current system enabled patients to have better motor control and an improvement in their quality of life when compared to the control group."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of DBS for Parkinson's disease in 2002. At least 500,000 people in the United States suffer from Parkinson's with about 50,000 new cases reported annually, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. These numbers are expected to increase as the average age of the population rises.

"The study answered some very important questions concerning cognition and mood with lead implantation (alone) versus implantation with stimulation. It also refutes the hypothesis that DBS increases depres
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Contact: John Pastor
jdpastor@ufl.edu
352-273-5815
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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