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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms—most commonly the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and walking problems. The procedure is also used to treat essential tremor, a common neurological movement disorder. At present, the procedure is used only for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications.

DBS uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator—similar to a heart pacemaker and approximately the size of a stopwatch—to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause tremor and PD symptoms.

Before the procedure, a neurosurgeon uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scanning to identify and locate the exact target within the brain where electrical nerve signals generate the PD symptoms. Some surgeons may use microelectrode recording—which involves a small wire that monitors the activity of nerve cells in the target area—to more specifically identify the precise brain target that will be stimulated. Generally, these targets are the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus, and globus pallidus.
Study could open door for new treatment targets to help Parkinson's disease patients walk more easily

Study could open door for new treatment targets to help Parkinson's disease patients walk more easily

Two secrets of one of the brain's most enigmatic regions have finally been revealed. In a pair of new studies, scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered a specific neural circuit that controls walking, and they found that input to this circuit is disrupted in Parkinson's disease. [More]
BlueWind completes patient enrolment for Overactive Bladder study to support CE Mark submission

BlueWind completes patient enrolment for Overactive Bladder study to support CE Mark submission

BlueWind Medical, developer of a wireless neuro-stimulation device to treat multiple clinical indications, such as back pain, peripheral neuropathic pain, incontinence (OAB), epilepsy, and more, announced today the completion of patient enrolment for an Overactive Bladder (OAB) study which is currently being conducted to support CE Mark submission. [More]
Central thalamus tunes the brain to different states of activity and arousal

Central thalamus tunes the brain to different states of activity and arousal

Scientists showed that they could alter brain activity of rats and either wake them up or put them in an unconscious state by changing the firing rates of neurons in the central thalamus, a region known to regulate arousal. [More]
Specific deep-brain circuit's firing frequency can alter forebrain activity, alertness levels

Specific deep-brain circuit's firing frequency can alter forebrain activity, alertness levels

Adjusting a specific deep-brain circuit's firing frequency immediately and dramatically alters rats' forebrain activity and alertness levels, Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have shown. [More]
Korean MFDS approves InSightec's Exablate Neuro system to treat movement, pain and behavioral disorders

Korean MFDS approves InSightec's Exablate Neuro system to treat movement, pain and behavioral disorders

Elbit Imaging Ltd. announced today that it was informed by InSightec Ltd., that the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has approved its Exablate Neuro system to treat movement, pain and behavioral disorders. [More]
Dopamine measurements provides information crucial for human choice

Dopamine measurements provides information crucial for human choice

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists have reported measurements of dopamine release with unprecedented temporal precision in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease. The measurements, collected during brain surgery as the conscious patients played an investment game, demonstrate how rapid dopamine release encodes information crucial for human choice. [More]
Penn Medicine's Gordon Baltuch performs 1,000th deep brain stimulation procedure

Penn Medicine's Gordon Baltuch performs 1,000th deep brain stimulation procedure

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) improves many of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) and is a life-alerting surgery for many patients. Penn Medicine's Gordon Baltuch, MD, a professor of Neurosurgery and director of the Penn Center for Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery, is one of the most prolific DBS surgeons in the world, having recently performed his 1,000th procedure, marking an important milestone for Baltuch and Penn Medicine. [More]
Doctors use MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat essential tremor

Doctors use MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat essential tremor

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is one of six locations nationally - and the only one in the Midwest - studying the safety and effectiveness of a promising new technology using MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat patients suffering from essential tremor as part of a multi-center FDA trial. [More]
SynAgile announces positive results from Phase 2a trial of continuous intraoral LD/CD therapy

SynAgile announces positive results from Phase 2a trial of continuous intraoral LD/CD therapy

SynAgile Corporation, a privately held pharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes drug delivery systems using its proprietary OraFuse intraoral technology platform, today announced positive results from a proof-of-concept, Phase 2a, open-label clinical trial of continuous intraoral administration of levodopa-carbidopa (LD/CD). [More]
Researchers use brain scans to reveal mechanisms behind cognitive control of thoughts

Researchers use brain scans to reveal mechanisms behind cognitive control of thoughts

How does the brain determine which direction to let its thoughts fly? Looking for the mechanisms behind cognitive control of thought, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of California and United States Army Research Laboratory have used brain scans to shed new light on this question. [More]
Clinical trial initiated to determine feasibility, safety of focused ultrasound to treat depression

Clinical trial initiated to determine feasibility, safety of focused ultrasound to treat depression

The first patient with depression has been treated with focused ultrasound. This procedure marks the beginning of a pilot clinical trial to determine the feasibility and safety of MR-guided focused ultrasound to non-invasively destroy a small volume of tissue deep in the brain - the anterior limb of the internal capsule - a well-established target for treating severe depression. [More]
Researchers find potential new way to target brain cells affected by Parkinson's disease

Researchers find potential new way to target brain cells affected by Parkinson's disease

Researchers from Imperial College London and Newcastle University believe they have found a potential new way to target cells of the brain affected by Parkinson's disease. [More]
Studies suggests that insular cortex may hold key to treating addiction

Studies suggests that insular cortex may hold key to treating addiction

A pair of studies suggests that a region of the brain - called the insular cortex - may hold the key to treating addiction. Scientists have come to this conclusion after finding that smokers who suffered a stroke in the insular cortex were far more likely to quit smoking and experience fewer and less severe withdrawal symptoms than those with strokes in other parts of the brain. [More]
University of Maryland Medicine offers MRI-guided focused ultrasound treatment to Parkinson's patients

University of Maryland Medicine offers MRI-guided focused ultrasound treatment to Parkinson's patients

University of Maryland Medicine (the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine) and its Center for Metabolic Imaging and Image-Guided Therapeutics (CMIT) has begun to use MRI-guided focused ultrasound on a deep structure within the brain related to Parkinson's disease - the globus pallidus. [More]
Newly discovered prion causes Multiple System Atrophy

Newly discovered prion causes Multiple System Atrophy

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a neurodegenerative disorder with similarities to Parkinson's disease, is caused by a newly discovered type of prion, akin to the misfolded proteins involved in incurable progressive brain diseases such Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), according to two new research papers led by scientists at UC San Francisco. [More]
September tip sheet from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

September tip sheet from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

A computer algorithm did a better job than doctors at documenting "red flag" symptoms among patients with gastrointestinal disorders, a Cedars-Sinai study has found, underscoring the potential of the technology to improve patient care. [More]
DBS may aid cortical plasticity in Parkinson’s patients

DBS may aid cortical plasticity in Parkinson’s patients

Deep-brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus may help to restore long-term potentiation-like plasticity in the motor cortex of patients with Parkinson’s disease, a study shows. [More]
Study could pave way for more targeted treatments for individuals with brain disorders

Study could pave way for more targeted treatments for individuals with brain disorders

Like Duke Ellington's 1931 jazz standard, the human brain improvises while its rhythm section keeps up a steady beat. But when it comes to taking on intellectually challenging tasks, groups of neurons tune in to one another for a fraction of a second and harmonize, then go back to improvising, according to new research led by UC Berkeley. [More]
Sham-controlled trial of deep brain stimulation treatment for depression fails to show efficacy

Sham-controlled trial of deep brain stimulation treatment for depression fails to show efficacy

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, and treatment-resistant symptoms of depression have a terrible personal and societal cost. They can devastate lives, careers, and families. Some severely ill patients may be unable to attend to even the basic elements of self-care, while others attempt or complete suicide. [More]
Discovery brings hope for people suffering from Parkinson's disease

Discovery brings hope for people suffering from Parkinson's disease

Scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the United States have found that existing anti-malaria drugs could be a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease. [More]
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