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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.
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]
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]
Findings reveal new pathway to develop effective treatments and therapies for asthma, allergy

Findings reveal new pathway to develop effective treatments and therapies for asthma, allergy

Investigators have discovered the precise molecular steps that enable immune cells implicated in certain forms of asthma and allergy to develop and survive in the body. The findings from Weill Cornell Medical College reveal a new pathway that scientists could use to develop more effective treatments and therapies for the chronic lung disorder. [More]
WHO prequalifies new male circumcision device to prevent HIV

WHO prequalifies new male circumcision device to prevent HIV

The ShangRing, a novel medical device for voluntary medical male circumcision, has received prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO) for use. [More]
New noninvasive brain stimulator may help tamp down Parkinson's symptoms at home

New noninvasive brain stimulator may help tamp down Parkinson's symptoms at home

Parkinson's disease patients whose symptoms such as tremor, muscle stiffness and slowed movement make it tough to hold an eating utensil steady have few options for relief outside of a hospital or clinic. Medication can help, but over time it tends to become less effective. [More]
Weill Cornell scientists reveal how XBP1 gene can trigger immune responses against ovarian tumors

Weill Cornell scientists reveal how XBP1 gene can trigger immune responses against ovarian tumors

Ovarian cancer shuts down immune system cells that would otherwise act as a first line of defense against the deadly tumor, Weill Cornell Medical College scientists report today. But a therapy that restores the cells' disease-fighting abilities could provide a powerful new strategy to attack the cancer, which kills more than 14,000 women each year. [More]
INS announces winners of inaugural best abstract competition at 12th World Congress

INS announces winners of inaugural best abstract competition at 12th World Congress

The International Neuromodulation Society (INS) announced winners today of its inaugural best abstract competition at the 12th World Congress in Montreal. [More]
International Neuromodulation Society recognizes third Giant of Neuromodulation

International Neuromodulation Society recognizes third Giant of Neuromodulation

The International Neuromodulation Society recognized its third Giant of Neuromodulation at its 12th World Congress in Montreal in June - the first such awardee who is renowned for work in neuromodulation for movement disorder. The honor was given to Prof. Alim-Louis Benabid, MD, PhD, board chairman of the biomedical research center Clinatec in Grenoble. [More]
Children undergoing deep brain stimulation for generalized dystonia experience better outcomes

Children undergoing deep brain stimulation for generalized dystonia experience better outcomes

Children and adolescents who received deep brain stimulation for generalized dystonia maintained significant symptom relief for up to eight years, according to a study presented today at the 12th World Congress of the International Neuromodulation Society. [More]
Researchers develop new technique to fabricate injectable electronic scaffolds

Researchers develop new technique to fabricate injectable electronic scaffolds

It's a notion that might be pulled from the pages of science-fiction novel - electronic devices that can be injected directly into the brain, or other body parts, and treat everything from neurodegenerative disorders to paralysis. [More]

Duke Medicine scientists produce 3-D map of human brain stem using MRI technology

Scientists at Duke Medicine have produced a 3-D map of the human brain stem at an unprecedented level of detail using MRI technology. [More]
Study opens door for new therapeutic approaches to treating patients with melanoma

Study opens door for new therapeutic approaches to treating patients with melanoma

Weill Cornell Medical College researchers have shown for the first time that a gene previously implicated in blood vessel formation during embryonic development and tumor growth also induces immune suppression during tumor development. [More]
Boston Scientific, Brainlab form strategic collaboration

Boston Scientific, Brainlab form strategic collaboration

Boston Scientific Corporation announces a collaboration with Brainlab AG, a leading software-driven medical technology company that helps improve patient treatment planning and surgical navigation. [More]
Global changes in cancer cells' epigenome may determine disease progression

Global changes in cancer cells' epigenome may determine disease progression

Genomic studies have illuminated the ways in which malfunctioning genes can drive cancer growth while stunting the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy and other treatments. But new findings from Weill Cornell Medical College investigators indicate that these genes are only partly to blame for why treatment that was at one point effective ultimately fails for about 40 percent of patients diagnosed with the most common form of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. [More]
UW researchers use Activa PC+S DBS system to treat essential tremor

UW researchers use Activa PC+S DBS system to treat essential tremor

Essential tremor, a nervous system disorder that causes a rhythmic shaking in the hands, affects an estimated 10 million Americans and millions more worldwide. Deep brain stimulation, essentially a pacemaker for the brain, has been approved to treat essential tremor. But there is not an existing system that automatically provides electrical stimulation only when needed. [More]
Deep brain stimulation reduces PD pain severity but does not prevent it

Deep brain stimulation reduces PD pain severity but does not prevent it

Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation has a beneficial effect on pain severity in patients with Parkinson’s disease that persists for up to 8 years, say researchers, but new onset of musculoskeletal pain in many suggests its effects are not enduring. [More]
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