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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.
Researchers test potential positive effects of micro-injury in mice modeled with AD

Researchers test potential positive effects of micro-injury in mice modeled with AD

Researchers testing the potential positive effects of "micro-injury" by brief insertion of a small needle into the hippocampal region of mice modeled with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have found that the procedure not only stimulated the hippocampus into regenerative activity, but also reduced β-amyloid plaques, a hallmark of AD. [More]
Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Because billions of neurons are packed into our brain, the neuronal circuits that are responsible for controlling our behaviors are by necessity highly intermingled. This tangled web makes it complicated for scientists to determine exactly which circuits do what. Now, using two laboratory techniques pioneered in part at Caltech, Caltech researchers have mapped out the pathways of a set of neurons responsible for the kinds of motor impairments--such as difficulty walking--found in patients with Parkinson's disease. [More]
Innovative wristwatch tool could improve quality of life for Parkinson's patients

Innovative wristwatch tool could improve quality of life for Parkinson's patients

An innovative new tool that resembles a wristwatch could improve the quality of life for patients with Parkinson's disease and better inform neurologists who treat them. [More]
Zonisamide relieves myoclonus dystonia motor symptoms

Zonisamide relieves myoclonus dystonia motor symptoms

A randomised crossover trial shows that zonisamide significantly improves motor symptoms and related disability in adults with myoclonus dystonia. [More]
Parkinson's disease medications could lead to impulse control disorders

Parkinson's disease medications could lead to impulse control disorders

Drugs commonly prescribed to treat Parkinson's disease have been linked to impulse control disorders such as pathological gambling, compulsive buying, hypersexuality and binge eating in some patients, report neurologists from Loyola Medicine and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. [More]
Neurons in hypothalamus help maintain blood glucose levels, study finds

Neurons in hypothalamus help maintain blood glucose levels, study finds

To learn what different cells do, scientists switch them on and off and observe what the effects are. There are many methods that do this, but they all have problems: too invasive, or too slow, or not precise enough. Now, a new method to control the activity of neurons in mice, devised by scientists at Rockefeller University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, avoids these downfalls by using magnetic forces to remotely control the flow of ions into specifically targeted cells. [More]
New deep brain stimulation improves symptoms in Tourette's patients

New deep brain stimulation improves symptoms in Tourette's patients

Specifically-targeted deep brain stimulation improves symptoms in patients with severe Tourette's, a study reports in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry. [More]
New clinical trial focuses on respiratory drug ambroxol for treatment of Parkinson's disease

New clinical trial focuses on respiratory drug ambroxol for treatment of Parkinson's disease

A medication approved to treat various respiratory diseases and that has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in preclinical studies is the focus of a new clinical trial for Parkinson's disease. [More]
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]
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