Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

"Pacemaker For The Brain" May Offer Hope To Sufferers Of Severe Parkinson's Disease

Date:
December 27, 2001
Source:
Penn State University College Of Medicine
Summary:
A researcher at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine is investigating an alternative surgical treatment that could rejuvenate patients suffering from Parkinson's Disease.

HERSHEY, PA -- A researcher at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine is investigating an alternative surgical treatment that could rejuvenate patients suffering from Parkinson's Disease.

Related Articles


Peter A. Pahapill, M.D., Ph.D., director of Functional, Stereotactic and Restorative Neurosurgery, in the Division of Neurosurgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center is conducting the study. It calls for 20 Parkinson's patients to undergo Chronic deep brain stimulation or DBS treatment and observation over a period of three years. The study is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

"There are thousands upon thousands of patients in the United States alone with terrible qualities of life because of their very advanced Parkinson's disease," Pahapill explains. "Preliminary co-operative studies in the United States, Canada and Europe have shown very promising results in these patients with stimulation in specific areas in both sides of the brain. Certainly, the procedures seem to be both effective and safe. However, further studies are needed to confirm and even improve further upon the results so far."

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a progressive degenerative neurological disease that strikes men and women of all ethnicities, but is more prevalent among people over age 64. The disease affects roughly one million Americans, including such well-known individuals as actor Michael J. Fox and boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

Symptoms of PD include tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and problems with balance and walking. In Pahapill's words, Parkinson's disease interferes with a person's ability to "enjoy a life with independence and dignity."

DBS is an alternative therapy for Parkinson's disease. It involves the use of electronics -- "a pacemaker for the brain" -- to stimulate and modify brain activity. DBS is reversible, adjustable and may create less persistent adverse effects than conventional operations that involve the intentional scaring of brain tissue.

According to Dr. Pahapill, DBS involves the insertion of three mechanical components: an electrode lead; an extension; and an implantable pulse generator or IPG. The lead consists of small insulated wires connected to four electrode contacts. The lead is implanted in the brain, near the site where traditional surgical treatments would call for a permanent lesion to be made, and is connected to the extension cable that connects to the IPG. The IPG is implanted in the subcutaneous tissue below the clavicle (collar bone).

The IPG operates much like a cardiac pacemaker to generate electronic signals that are delivered to the brain through the extension and electrode lead. A physician programs the IPG to deliver the appropriate stimulation by specifying the intensity, rate and pulse width. The physician can as well as choose which lead contacts receive stimulation. Programming can be done by physicians during office visits and is painless.

Studies show that about 90% of Parkinson's sufferers experience complete or nearly complete elimination of the physical tremors or shaking associated with the disease after undergoing DBS treatment. Preliminary data also shows striking improvements in controlling other debilitating signs and symptoms of PD as mentioned above.

While DBS neither cures Parkinson's disease nor prevents its progression, Dr. Pahapill is convinced that this alternative treatment can minimize the impact of its symptoms and improve the overall quality of life for Parkinson's patients. He hopes this new study will further prove this assertion.

"We would hope that with proper FDA-approved studies, such as ours, the results will help support the provision of this therapy to many more patients suffering from parkinsonism in our country."

Participants in the DBS study must be diagnosed Parkinson's patients and must be over 18 years of age. They can be male or female, although pregnant women are not permitted to participate. Participants in the study will receive optimal medical and surgical treatment for Parkinson's Disease free of charge.

Volunteers who meet the study's criteria should call the Medical Center's toll-free CareLine at 1-800-243-1455.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State University College Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State University College Of Medicine. ""Pacemaker For The Brain" May Offer Hope To Sufferers Of Severe Parkinson's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 December 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224084212.htm>.
Penn State University College Of Medicine. (2001, December 27). "Pacemaker For The Brain" May Offer Hope To Sufferers Of Severe Parkinson's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224084212.htm
Penn State University College Of Medicine. ""Pacemaker For The Brain" May Offer Hope To Sufferers Of Severe Parkinson's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224084212.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) 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