Deep brain stimulation treatment benefits Parkinson’’s patients

January 7th, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 7 (ANI): Deep brain stimulation treatment improved movement skills and quality of life in patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD), a new study has found.
The study revealed that patients receiving deep brain stimulation also had a higher risk of serious adverse events than patients who received other medical therapy.
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical treatment involving the implantation of electrodes that send electrical stimulation to specific parts of the brain to reduce involuntary movements and tremors.
“However, recent reports highlighting unexpected behavioral effects of stimulation suggest that deep brain stimulation, while improving motor function, may have other less desirable consequences,” wrote the authors.
For the study, researchers led by Frances M. Weaver, Ph.D., of Hines VA Hospital, Hines, Ill., conducted a randomised trial to compare the benefits and risks of deep brain stimulation with those of best medical therapy for patients, of a wide age range, with PD.
A total of 255 patients with PD were enrolled; 25 percent were age 70 years or older.
All the participants were randomised to receive bilateral deep brain stimulation with leads of the stimulation device implanted in the following locations of the brain: subthalamic nucleus (n = 60) or globus pallidus (n = 61); or received best medical therapy (n = 134), which included management by movement disorder neurologists, who monitored medication use and nonpharmacological therapy (e.g., physical, occupational, and speech therapy).
And it was found that at 6 months, deep brain stimulation patients gained an average of 4.6 hours per day of on time (the time of good symptom control or unimpeded motor function) without troubling dyskinesia (involuntary movements), while the average change for the best medical therapy group was 0 hours.
Motor function improved significantly with deep brain stimulation as compared with best medical therapy.
Patients in the deep brain stimulation group experienced significant improvements in the summary measure of quality of life and on 7 of 8 PD quality-of-life scores, in comparison to patients in the best medical therapy group.
Neurocognitive testing revealed small decrements in some areas of information processing for patients receiving deep brain stimulation vs. best medical therapy.
The researchers found that the overall risk of experiencing a serious adverse event was 3.8 times higher in deep brain stimulation patients than in best medical therapy patients.
The authors said: “Caution should be exercised, however, against overstating or understating the risks of deep brain stimulation for patients with PD. Physicians must continue to weigh the potential short-term and long-term risks with the benefits of deep brain stimulation in each patient.”
The study was published in the latest issue of JAMA. (ANI)

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