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Did You Know?: Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's

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Air date: January 18, 2009


Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

It's true. Deep brain stimulation is better than medication for relieving symptoms of Parkinsonís disease.

The treatment involves using electrodes to stimulate the substantia nigra, -- a part of the brain that coordinates and controls movement.

According to a recent study from the Hines VA Hospital in Illinois, Parkinsonís patients receiving deep brain stimulation reported around four and a half more hours per day of "on time," meaning time free from the involuntary movements and tremors caused by the disease. Study participants receiving regular Parkinsonís medication reported no increase in on time.

Deep brain stimulation isnít by any means a perfect solution. It involves complex brain surgery to implant the electrodes, side effects of which can include infection, nervous system disorders, and depression.

Still, the benefits of the treatment for Parkinsonís patients can be substantial.

And now you know.

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