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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.
XBP1 gene plays pivotal role in the growth and progression of triple negative breast cancer

XBP1 gene plays pivotal role in the growth and progression of triple negative breast cancer

Scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College and Houston Methodist have found that a gene previously unassociated with breast cancer plays a pivotal role in the growth and progression of the triple negative form of the disease, a particularly deadly strain that often has few treatment options. Their research, published in this week's Nature, suggests that targeting the gene may be a new approach to treating the disease. [More]
Research roundup: Medicaid eligibility; tracking discontinued randomized trials; decline in work-based insurance

Research roundup: Medicaid eligibility; tracking discontinued randomized trials; decline in work-based insurance

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), changes in income and family circumstances are likely to produce frequent transitions in eligibility for Medicaid and health insurance Marketplace coverage for low- and middle-income adults. [More]
Viewpoints: Obama's budget punts on entitlements; Medicaid debate rankles states

Viewpoints: Obama's budget punts on entitlements; Medicaid debate rankles states

There is a lesson in this unexpected juxtaposition nevertheless: No nation can safely base its tax and spending plans on inflexible commitments. Political life, both domestic and international, is too unpredictable. Yet U.S. government spending is mostly on autopilot. The government is scheduled to lay out $3.8 trillion this fiscal year -; 70 percent of which will go to mandatory-spending programs, chiefly Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the federal debt. Mr. Obama's plan for fiscal 2015 does not change this; it would increase overall spending slightly, paying for it with selected tax increases, while shifting money among priorities here and there. But these tweaks would take place within the same 30 percent of discretionary spending that the current budget contains (3/4). [More]
UTHealth study to assess deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression

UTHealth study to assess deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression

A pilot study at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) will assess the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the medial forebrain bundle of the brain for treatment-resistant depression. [More]
Researchers develop new handheld electronic device that help overcome hand shakes caused by tremor

Researchers develop new handheld electronic device that help overcome hand shakes caused by tremor

​For people whose hands shake uncontrollably due to a medical condition, just eating can be a frustrating and embarrassing ordeal - enough to keep them from sharing a meal with others. [More]

Electrical stimulation of hippocampus activates dormant memory cells

The electrical stimulation of the hippocampus in in-vivo experiments activates precisely the same receptor complexes as learning or memory recall. This has been discovered for the first time and the finding has now been published in the highly respected journal "Brain Structure Function". [More]
Researchers conduct pioneering translational study on immediate antidepressant effect of DBS

Researchers conduct pioneering translational study on immediate antidepressant effect of DBS

A team of UCA researchers led by Professor Esther Berrocoso and in joint collaboration with the mental health research groups of the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental have carried out a pioneering project in Spain. [More]
New treatments for depression on the horizon

New treatments for depression on the horizon

New insights into the physiological causes of depression are leading to treatments beyond common antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, researchers are reporting in the in the journal Current Psychiatry. [More]
Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies receives another patent for Parkinson’s disease monitoring technology

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies receives another patent for Parkinson’s disease monitoring technology

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies announced today they have received another allowance of claims from the U.S. Patent Office. The application covers a system and method of controlling Parkinson's therapy in response to motor symptoms. [More]
Continuing spinal cord stimulation improves symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Continuing spinal cord stimulation improves symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Researchers at Duke Medicine have shown that continuing spinal cord stimulation appears to produce improvements in symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and may protect critical neurons from injury or deterioration. [More]
Use of twice-daily pill could turn deadly blood cancer into highly treatable disease

Use of twice-daily pill could turn deadly blood cancer into highly treatable disease

Use of a twice-daily pill could turn a deadly blood cancer into a highly treatable disease, according to scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College who led a multinational research team. [More]

Gene therapy edges closer for Parkinson’s disease

Lentiviral vector-based gene therapy is well tolerated and may improve motor function in patients with Parkinson’s disease, shows an open-label study published in The Lancet. [More]

GLNT study to evaluate abnormal muscle tone caused by neurological disorders

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies announced today that it is launching a study to determine the feasibility of a clinician-worn glove to objectively evaluate abnormal muscle tone, such as stiff joints or muscle tightness, due to neurological disorders. [More]

Deep-brain stimulation boosts PD patients’ driving performance

Deep-brain stimulation reduces errors among patients with Parkinson’s disease undergoing a driving simulator test, a study shows. [More]
Weill Cornell Medical College received a $75M grant to expand, enhance cancer research, care programs

Weill Cornell Medical College received a $75M grant to expand, enhance cancer research, care programs

Weill Cornell Medical College announced today that it has received a $75 million gift from Sandra and Edward Meyer and the Sandra and Edward Meyer Foundation to expand and enhance the medical college's distinguished cancer research and care programs. [More]
New ways to treat substance abuse, neurological diseases and mental illnesses

New ways to treat substance abuse, neurological diseases and mental illnesses

​Researchers at the University at Buffalo have found a way to change alcohol drinking behavior in rodents, using the emerging technique of optogenetics, which uses light to stimulate neurons. [More]
Parkinson's disease patients from lower socioeconomic status less likely to receive DBS

Parkinson's disease patients from lower socioeconomic status less likely to receive DBS

Among Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, female, black, Asian and patients are substantially less likely to receive proven deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery to improve tremors and motor symptoms, according to a new report by a Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania researcher who identified considerable disparities among Medicare recipients receiving DBS for Parkinson's disease. [More]

Parkinson's disease patients may find difficulties in recognizing emotions

Patients affected by Parkinson's disease may experience, in addition to the more obvious motor symptoms (such as tremors and stiffness), difficulties recognizing emotions in the facial expressions and speech prosody (intonation) of other people. A number of investigations have shown that even deep brain stimulation, a treatment that has become widely used in recent years, may cause similar disorders. [More]

Study investigates about emotions that affects patients with Parkinson's disease

Is it the disease itself or the treatment that impairs the perception of emotions? A study conducted with the collaboration of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste investigates the origins of the difficulty recognizing certain emotions that affects patients with Parkinson's disease. [More]
Deep brain stimulation may have beneficial effect on driving ability for Parkinson's disease patients

Deep brain stimulation may have beneficial effect on driving ability for Parkinson's disease patients

Deep brain stimulation may have a beneficial effect on driving ability for people with Parkinson's disease, according to a new study published in the December 18, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Deep brain stimulation uses a surgical implant similar to a pacemaker to send electrical impulses to the brain. [More]