Non-invasive electrical treatment for Parkinson's trialled

Non-invasive electrical treatment for Parkinson's trialled

A study conducted at Oxford University has suggested a new therapy may be able to alleviate tremors in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Several studies have recently highlighted the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation in reducing motor symptoms of the condition, but the technique utilised at the John Radcliffe Hospital is non-invasive, as electrodes produce a small current outside the patient's head.

This method, transcranial alternating current stimulation (TACS), was performed on a preliminary study of 15 Parkinson's patients, with researchers recording a reduction of more than 50 per cent in their resting tremors.

Tremors are one of the most debilitating symptoms of the neurodegenerative condition, but none of the currently available drug treatments produce an effective response.

Professor Peter Brown, who led the study, said: "We are very hopeful this research may, in time, lead to a therapy that is both successful and carries reduced medical risks."

He suggested that, one day, the TACS pads could be placed under a patient's skin to provide continuous stimulation, reducing Parkinson's symptoms with no outward indicators of the treatment.

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