Beyond Improving Parkinson's Symptoms, Does Deep Brain Stimulation Stall Their Progression?
By Science Daily — From sciencedaily.com January 27, 2011 728 1
Parkinson's disease symptoms begin subtly and worsen as damage to certain brain cells continues. But an electrical stimulation device implanted deep in the brain and programmed remotely, along with medications, may provide some control of "motor symptoms" common to the disease, such as shaking, stiffness, and loss of muscle control.
What happens, however, if the drugs are stopped and the device is switched off after five years? Are the symptoms far worse than they were to start, as might be expected with a "progressive" degenerative disorder?
Surprisingly, no, says neurologist Michele Tagliati, M.D., director of the Movement Disorders Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and one of the nation's leading experts in deep brain stimulation therapy. He and colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he served before joining Cedars-Sinai in September, evaluated several of their deep brain stimulation patients at one-year intervals: 21 patients at year one; 17 at year two; 14 at year three; 16 at year four; and nine at year five.