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University Hospitals Case Medical Center finds new treatment holds promise for Tourette syndrome
Date:11/12/2007

tment of Parkinsons disease, essential tremor and dystonia. DBS involves the surgical implantation of electrodes in the brain and pulse generators in the upper chest just beneath the collarbones. The implanted pulse generator (IPG) is connected to the electrode in the brain by a thin cable that is placed under the skin. The IPG is then programmed to deliver a high-frequency electrical stimulation to the targeted area of the brain.

In this double-blind study the electrodes were placed in the thalamus, a portion of the brain that is involved in controlling movement. Prior to surgery the neurologic team at UHCMC mapped out regions of the patients brains using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans and 3-D computer images. Their goal was to locate the safest and most direct route to reach the thalamus. Following surgery the researchers conducted double-blind video-based rating assessments of tic frequency and severity. They found that three of five patients had a marked reduction in their motor and vocal tics and all but one patient had a significant improvement in quality of life.

Deep Brain Stimulation has been used to successfully treat certain movement disorders for years, says David Riley, MD, Director of the UH Movement Disorders Center and Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University. We carefully studied its use in these five patients suffering from refractory Tourette Syndrome and found that it significantly reduced the tics in most of the patients and improved their quality of life.

The use of DBS for Tourette syndrome is still an emerging area of study but in this first of its kind clinical trial, our team found that DBS has good potential to be a viable treatment for people with this potentially debilitating syndrome, says Christina Whitney, DNSc, RN, clinical nurse specialist in the movement disorders center. The treatment was found to be safe and we plan to conduct a larger clinical trial to further determine its
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Contact: Alicia Reale
alicia.reale@uhhospitals.org
216-844-5158
University Hospitals of Cleveland
Source:Eurekalert

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