Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gamma Knife May Replace Surgery For Parkinson’s Disease

Date:
December 5, 1997
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, are sidestepping surgery and using a device to deliver high doses of tissue-destroying radiation to tiny targets deep within the brain in the hopes of alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, are sidestepping surgery and using a device to deliver high doses of tissue-destroying radiation to tiny targets deep within the brain in the hopes of alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Doctors hope that the noninvasive gamma knife will offer both reduced recovery time and shorter hospital stays for patients with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders whose symptoms cannot be controlled with medication.

Related Articles


At the 83rd Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, David P. Friedman, M.D., associate professor of radiology, Jefferson Medical College, reports results on December 3 of the first 12 Parkinson’s disease patients to undergo gamma knife treatment. Of those treated, seven showed marked improvement in their symptoms, three had moderate improvement and two showed mild improvement with a three-month follow-up. Dr. Friedman notes that such results are comparable to those of surgery. The patients in the study all were unable for various reasons to undergo conventional surgery.

The gamma knife uses magnetic resonance imaging to identify the radiosurgical target. The radiation destroys certain areas of the brain’s thalamus or globus pallidus, hoping to control tremors, rigidity or other involuntary movements.

According to H. Warren Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice-chair, neurosurgery, Jefferson Medical College, and at Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, as many as 50,000 patients a year could benefit from the treatment. Dr. Goldman, who notes "this is a relatively new use of the gamma knife," says that doctors are so pleased with the technique’s results to date that they have begun offering the treatment as an alternative to other patients as well.

Nearly all patients with Parkinson’s eventually, within five to eight years, become refractory to treatment by medicine. When medication fails, doctors may treat Parkinson’s by two types of brain surgery. In a thalidotomy, surgeons remove or destroy tissue in thalamus, which controls tremors. In a pallidotomy, tissue in the globus pallidus is destroyed in an attempt to control rigidity and some involuntary movements.

The gamma knife has several advantages over surgery, according to Drs. Goldman and Friedman. The treatment is noninvasive, without the risks of bleeding or infection. Patients remain hospitalized for only 24 hours compared to three or more days with surgery. Recovery time from gamma knife treatment is minimal; recovery from surgery typically takes at least two weeks.

The treatment has some downsides, however. Whereas surgery results are almost immediate, gamma knife treatment results take time, and may not be known for perhaps as long as six or eight weeks.

The gamma knife is primarily used to treat brain tumors and various vascular malformations. "This expands its uses," Dr. Friedman says. "Though some 90 centers worldwide, including 32 centers in the United States, have the gamma knife, only perhaps a handful use them this way." Jefferson and Wills began using the gamma knife to treat Parkinson’s in July 1996. Dr. Goldman believes that it is the only such device in the Philadelphia area.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Gamma Knife May Replace Surgery For Parkinson’s Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971205073454.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (1997, December 5). Gamma Knife May Replace Surgery For Parkinson’s Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971205073454.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Gamma Knife May Replace Surgery For Parkinson’s Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971205073454.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins