Navigation Links
Researchers Try Early Surgical Intervention to Treat Parkinson's Symptoms

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are attempting to short circuit the progression of Parkinson's disease by implanting stimulation devices //into the brains of Parkinson's patients earlier on in the course of their disease.

'One of the driving theories behind this study is the possibility that if deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy was applied early, it may change the progression of the disease, hopefully slowing its advance,' said David Charles, M.D., vice-chair of Neurology and director of the Vanderbilt Movement Disorders Clinic.

Charles says to date there is no current therapy that has been proven to definitely slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. Vanderbilt's Phase 1 clinical trial — the first of its kind in the world — was years in development and just recently received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to begin.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic, debilitating neuromuscular disease caused by the brain's inability to produce a sufficient amount of the chemical dopamine, which in turn causes nerve cell death leading to impaired function of the body's muscles and movement.

Key symptoms of Parkinson's are tremor (shaking), difficulty with balance, slowness of movement, and rigidity. Other symptoms can include stiff facial expression, shuffling walk, muffled speech and depression.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates there are as many as 500,000 U.S. citizens with Parkinson's disease, and others, such as the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, say it is more prevalent and may affect as many as 1 million Americans. Estimates are as many as 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

“The theory that applying this therapy early in the course of Parkinson's is that we may see a difference,” Charles said.

Vanderbilt researchers hope that by providing a treatment now only offered in late-stage Parkinson's, they can slow the disease's typical prog ression.

“For this study, which is to measure safety and tolerability of the device in these patients, we'll be using DBS the same way we're treating advanced patients, only much earlier,” Charles said.

“We hope to obtain preliminary data that will tell us whether a larger trial is warranted.”

The study's protocol calls for a small number of patients to be enrolled and followed over a four-year period.

“If this proves successful we hope to launch a larger trial in the future to test the question of whether this therapy can change or slow the progression of Parkinson's disease,” he said.

In 1996 VUMC became one of the first centers in the United States to implant stimulators into the brains of Parkinson's disease patients with advanced symptoms.

DBS is a device which emits a continuous, tunable electrical current, attached to a fine wire, that runs from the unit and is carefully implanted into a specific location deep within the brain. When activated, the DBS device acts on the subthalamic nucleus with electrical stimulation to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's. In many patients the device produces dramatic results.

Charles and other researchers in Vanderbilt's Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery have devoted a significant portion of their academic careers to research to find better ways to slow disease progression and improve symptoms of Parkinson's patients. VUMC has been one of the nation's leading centers in Parkinson's research for more than 20 years.

“Our experience has found if patients who receive DBS are properly selected they typically can reduce medicines by about 25 percent. Afterward they can extend the period of time they have a positive impact from their medicine by about 50 percent,” Charles said. “So the impact on their overall condition is very good.”

Charles said trial participants may help advance the field of research in Parkinson's disease.

“What we learn in this trial will really shape the next step of research on this disease. We are trying to answer a major question of whether receiving this therapy early in the disease may slow progression. If this were to prove true there is no other therapy we can offer today which can do that,” he said.

(Souce: Newswise)

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers urge caution in using ear tube surgery
2. Researchers Scale to assess the Severity of Epilepsy in Kids
3. Researchers trick Alzheimers Enzyme
4. Researchers find new HIV hiding place
5. New Hair in 15 Days Could Now Be A Possibility Say Researchers
6. Researchers developed world’s smallest toothbrus
7. Researchers discover receptor cells that can cause epilepsy
8. 15 Anti-SARS Drugs Identified By China-Europe Team of Researchers
9. Researchers reversed the process of memory loss
10. Researchers Identify Key Gene That May Help Brain Treatment
11. Researchers Discover Protein That Causes Malaria
Post Your Comments:

(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition has announced ... Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) research, timed today to coincide with Giving Tuesday 2015, a ... including their ability to work and be productive, to do simple daily activities like ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 02, 2015 , ... ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research ... of treatment for osteoporosis ”. , As corresponding author Dr Ankita Modi says ... with osteoporosis. Based on a large US managed care database, women aged 55 ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... According to an ... has filed a discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ... Care Act (ACA) plans are breaking the clause in the law prohibiting the denial ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Dr. Paul Vitenas, one of the ... named by MedEsthetics magazine as the Best Single Physician Practice in the nation. Dr. ... elite aesthetic physicians honored by the industry publication. , Dr. Vitenas said he ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... epidemic in the 1980s we have seen vast improvements in scientific research and ... made significant strides, providing increased hope and relief to those affected by HIV/AIDS. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015   MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc . (OTCQB: ... has filed an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with ... Company,s lead fully human antibody product HuMab 5B1 as ... to initiate the Phase I clinical trial early in ... The planned Phase I trial will evaluate the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... FRANCISCO , Dec. 1, 2015  InCarda Therapeutics, ... development and commercialization of therapies for cardiovascular conditions via ... a subsidiary business in Australia . ... trial in Australia in the ... leading investigators and medical centers in Adelaide ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  The migration ... to develop shared care plans that help patients ... care plans will be digitally enabled, incorporate care ... needs and desires. They will also allow all ... patient,s health journey is optimal. That is the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: