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DBS treatment 'can improve symptoms of Parkinson's disease'

DBS treatment 'can improve symptoms of Parkinson's disease'
3rd June 2010

A scientific study claims that deep brain stimulation (DBS) can be an effective way to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, investigators from Chicago found that using DBS on patients who no longer respond to drug treatments or experience side effects from them can have significant benefits.

The most difficult symptoms of Parkinson's disease, tremors and rigidity for instance, were dramatically improved using DBS, the study claims.

Study lead investigator Dr Frances Weaver said DBS is equally effective on the different parts of the brain that cover motor and cognitive functions.

"DBS increases the percentage of time that a patient is functional. It also improves a patient's ability to move arms or legs in a more coordinated fashion and there is a lessening of bradykinesia [slowness of motion]," added study co-author Dr Douglas Anderson.

According to the Movement Disorder Society, Parkinson's disease affects 160 in every 100,000 people globally.

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