VIDEO: Directional deep brain stimulation: novel treatment options for all Parkinson’s patients
sponsored by Boston Scientific
Author: SPONSOREDPublished: 4 October 2017
Prep: Cook: Serves:
Watch deep brain stimulation (DBS) experts Professor Pollo, Professor Timmermann, Professor Visser-Vanderwalle and Professor Volkmann explain the benefits of novel directional DBS systems for improved symptom control and fewer side effects
Every human brain is unique and every course of Parkinson’s disease has its own characteristics. In deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy, physicians aim to target a very specific part of the brain – the subthalamic nucleus – in order to mitigate Parkinson’s symptoms.
Up until now, conventional DBS systems only allowed for stimulation with ring electrodes. With these electrodes, stimulation took the form of a ring around the electrode in the lead that was implanted into the patient’s brain. This meant that while physicians tried to target a very specific area of the brain, they always ran the risk of stimulating its neighbouring regions – since they could not steer the stimulation precisely. Unintended and unwanted stimulation could cause side effects such as speech problems.
The latest generation of DBS devices allow physicians to precisely steer the stimulation to target one specific area of the brain – significantly reducing side effects from unwanted stimulation. Our directional DBS systems use novel lead designs with segmented electrodes that allow the activation of individual electrode contacts. In addition, the technology in the pulse generator that powers the leads – the Multiple Independent Current Control (MICC) technology – allows the physician to specify exactly the amount of current needed for every contact of the electrode.
Through activating specific electrode contacts, and defining the amount of stimulation for each contact, stimulation precision is significantly increased. It is similar to shining a light on a specific spot with a flashlight. With the new systems, physicians now have full control of the stimulation steering and an increased set of stimulation options.
About deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy
DBS uses a stimulator that is implanted into the patient’s chest. The stimulator sends mild electrical impulses to specific areas of the brain via thin wires called leads. This stimulation may help improve day-to-day experiences for people living with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, or essential tremor.
For comprehensive information on deep brain stimulation and Parkinson’s, please visit the EPDA website.
This article is sponsored by Boston Scientific. The information in this article is given for information purposes only and does not represent an endorsement by the EPDA of any particular treatments, products or companies. This article is not a substitute for advice from your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Parkinson’s Life makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness or accuracy of information provided.
Pizza for Parkinson’s Day helps raise £23,000 for Parkinson’s UK
Domino’s Pizza raises £23,000 for 'We Won't Wait' campaign
5 days ago
New molecule could reverse neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s
Researchers at a university in Spain have discovered a new molecule which they claim can block and reverse neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s. The molecule – named SynuClean-D – is able to reduce alpha-synuclein aggregations which cause degeneration. The study – published in science journal ‘PNAS’ – explains how researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, tested over 14,000 molecules before discovering SynuClean-D. They then tested the molecule on a Caenorhabditis worm – one of the most commonly used animals when researching neurodegenerative diseases – finding that it boosted its mobility and protected it from neural degeneration. Salvador Ventura, the study coordinator, said: “Everything seems to indicate that the molecule we identified, the SynuClean-D, may provide therapeutic applications for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s in the future.”
A new study by US researchers will investigate the impact of art therapy on Parkinson’s motor symptoms. The study – which will be conducted by researchers at the Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, US – will focus on 40 participants, half of which have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The sessions will be led by professionals with a master’s degree in art therapy. It is hoped the approach will help people with Parkinson’s restore functional independence and maintain a high quality of life. Writing in the ‘Complementary Therapies in Medicine’ journal, the authors commented: “[Art therapy] could be used to improve impaired visuospatial functions in patients with PD, including visually-guided attention, shape recognition, motion perception, abstraction, sensory-motor integration, and hand-eye coordination.” In addition, the researchers believe art therapy may help improve the emotional wellbeing of participants.
Study finds that typing speed could indicate Parkinson’s
New research from Charles Sturt University, Queensland, Australia, has suggested that a person’s typing speed could be an early indicator of Parkinson’s. As part of the study, researchers used a computer programme to record the typing speed of 76 individuals – 27 of which had Parkinson’s – over a period of nine months. Researchers found they were able to detect Parkinson’s with a 78% accuracy rate – as the speed at which participants used their keyboards indicated whether or not they had a tremor. It is hoped that these findings will lead to the development of a diagnostic tool that will help medical professionals diagnose the condition in the future. Warwick Adams, who authored the study, said: “The end-game is to develop a widely-available screening test for both GPs and individuals.”