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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.
Clinatec chairman receives Lifetime Achievement Award for breakthrough research on Parkinson's disease

Clinatec chairman receives Lifetime Achievement Award for breakthrough research on Parkinson's disease

Prof. Alim-Louis Benabid, board chairman of Clinatec - The Edmond J. Safra Biomedical Research Center, received the Lifetime Achievement award on Dec. 13 from the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) for his work in developing deep brain stimulation to relieve symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients. [More]
Report supports potential of focused ultrasound to treat certain OCD patients

Report supports potential of focused ultrasound to treat certain OCD patients

A recently published report in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry supports the potential of focused ultrasound to treat certain patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). [More]
Researchers find way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss

Researchers find way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes have found a way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein. [More]
Alim Louis Benabid, Mahlon DeLong jointly win 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award

Alim Louis Benabid, Mahlon DeLong jointly win 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award

French neurosurgeon Alim Louis Benabid and American neurologist Mahlon DeLong were recently named winners of the 2014 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for their roles in developing deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson disease. [More]
Pros and cons of medical marijuana to be discussed at Queensland Epilepsy Symposium

Pros and cons of medical marijuana to be discussed at Queensland Epilepsy Symposium

The pros and cons of medical marijuana is a discussion focus at the fifth annual Queensland Epilepsy Symposium, Epilepsy – On the Horizon. [More]
Autonomic dysfunction highly prevalent in Parkinson's disease, regardless of age, disease duration

Autonomic dysfunction highly prevalent in Parkinson's disease, regardless of age, disease duration

New findings from The Parkinson Alliance (PA) survey entitled "Autonomic Dysfunction in Parkinson's Disease With and Without Deep Brain Stimulation" show that autonomic dysfunction was highly prevalent in Parkinson's disease (PD), regardless of age and disease duration. [More]
U-M scientists launch $11.5 million effort to better understand cause of Parkinson's disease

U-M scientists launch $11.5 million effort to better understand cause of Parkinson's disease

Deep in the brains of the million Americans with Parkinson's disease, changes to their brain cells put them at high risk of dangerous falls -- a problem that resists even the most modern treatments. [More]
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to honor 8 scientists for achievements in psychiatric research

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to honor 8 scientists for achievements in psychiatric research

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation will honor eight scientists with its 2014 Outstanding Achievement Prizes for work delving into psychiatric disorders that affect one in four people. The awards, which celebrate the transformative power of neuroscience and psychiatric research to improve the lives of people with mental illness, will be presented at the Foundation's National Awards Dinner at the Pierre Hotel. [More]
Cedars-Sinai experts to present free conference on dystonia for patients, families and caregivers

Cedars-Sinai experts to present free conference on dystonia for patients, families and caregivers

A multidisciplinary team of experts affiliated with the Cedars-Sinai Movement Disorders Program will present a free conference for patients, families and caregivers on treatment options for dystonia, which causes painful and potentially crippling muscle contractions. [More]
Research evidence supports use of deep brain stimulation for OCD patients

Research evidence supports use of deep brain stimulation for OCD patients

Available research evidence supports the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who don't respond to other treatments, concludes a review in the October issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. [More]
Vercise DBS System receives CE Mark approval for treatment of essential tremor

Vercise DBS System receives CE Mark approval for treatment of essential tremor

Boston Scientific Corporation has received CE Mark for the Vercise Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) System for the treatment of tremor, including the most common form of this movement disorder known as essential tremor (ET). [More]
Implantating DBS devices poses no greater risk of complications to older Parkinson's patients

Implantating DBS devices poses no greater risk of complications to older Parkinson's patients

Implantating deep brain stimulation devices poses no greater risk of complications to older patients than it does to younger patients with Parkinson's disease, researchers at Duke Medicine report. [More]

NeuroDerm signs definitive investment agreements for $16 million financing round

NeuroDerm Ltd., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing drugs for central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today announced that it has signed definitive investment agreements for a $16 million financing round led by certain of its existing investors with the participation of new investors, including The Elias Group. [More]
Researchers develop new way of using electricity to open blood-brain-barrier

Researchers develop new way of using electricity to open blood-brain-barrier

A team of researchers from the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences have developed a new way of using electricity to open the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). [More]
Findings fuel idea that processes of active movement and sensory processing are connected

Findings fuel idea that processes of active movement and sensory processing are connected

A new study by researchers at the University of Oregon published today in the journal Neuron describes a brainstem circuit in mice that may help explain how active movement impacts the way the brain processes sensory information. [More]
DBS improves motor and non motor symptoms of patients with early Parkinson's disease

DBS improves motor and non motor symptoms of patients with early Parkinson's disease

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become a well-recognized non-pharmacologic treatment that improves motor symptoms of patients with early and advanced Parkinson's disease. [More]

GW clinical trial aims to identify novel modalities to reduce seizures in MTLE patients

A first-of-its-kind clinical trial at the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates employs low-frequency deep brain stimulation to potentially help reduce epileptic seizures in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) - the most common type of focal epilepsy that often necessitates surgical resection of the temporal lobe, risking memory function. [More]
U-M researchers detail new discoveries about basic biology of dystonia

U-M researchers detail new discoveries about basic biology of dystonia

Twist and hold your neck to the left. Now down, and over to the right, until it hurts. Now imagine your neck - or arms or legs - randomly doing that on their own, without you controlling it. [More]
Study results suggest growing support for patient-centered care management

Study results suggest growing support for patient-centered care management

Primary care doctors practicing in a model of coordinated, team-based care that leverages health information technology are more likely to give patients recommended preventive screening and appropriate tests than physicians working in other settings, according to research published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. [More]
New research program to understand and treat debilitating psychiatric disorders

New research program to understand and treat debilitating psychiatric disorders

Scientists and physicians at UC San Francisco (UCSF) are leading a $26 million, multi-institutional research program in which they will employ advanced technology to characterize human brain networks and better understand and treat a range of common, debilitating psychiatric disorders, focusing first on anxiety disorders and major depression. [More]