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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.
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 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

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]
Neural engineers to develop techniques for dynamic deep brain stimulation

Neural engineers to develop techniques for dynamic deep brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulators, devices that zap Parkinson's disease tremors by sending electrical current deep into nerve centers near the brain stem, may sound like they are cutting-edge, but Rice University's Caleb Kemere wants to give them a high-tech overhaul. [More]
New optical approach to brain scanning for patients with electronic implants

New optical approach to brain scanning for patients with electronic implants

Scientists have advanced a brain-scanning technology that tracks what the brain is doing by shining dozens of tiny LED lights on the head. This new generation of neuroimaging compares favorably to other approaches but avoids the radiation exposure and bulky magnets the others require, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. [More]

New potential treatment for paraplegic patients

People with severe injuries to their spinal cord currently have no prospect of recovery and remain confined to their wheelchairs. Now, all that could change with a new treatment that stimulates the spinal cord using electric impulses. [More]
Research: Stimulation of certain population of neurons within brain can alter learning process

Research: Stimulation of certain population of neurons within brain can alter learning process

Stimulation of a certain population of neurons within the brain can alter the learning process, according to a team of neuroscientists and neurosurgeons at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Researchers devise new approach to treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Researchers devise new approach to treatment of Alzheimer's disease

A team of researchers from Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Brandeis University has devised a wholly new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease involving the so-called retromer protein complex. Retromer plays a vital role in neurons, steering amyloid precursor protein (APP) away from a region of the cell where APP is cleaved, creating the potentially toxic byproduct amyloid-beta, which is thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's. [More]
GLNT to use $1.5M NIH award to expand Parkinson’s monitoring technology to mobile apps

GLNT to use $1.5M NIH award to expand Parkinson’s monitoring technology to mobile apps

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies announced today they will be using a $1.5M award from NIH to expand their Parkinson’s monitoring technology to mobile applications. Repositioning GLNT’s Kinesia product line with mobile apps strategically aligns with growing trends in domestic and international healthcare landscapes regarding accessibility, costs, reimbursement, and regulatory policies. [More]
Electrode placement affects subthalamic nucleus stimulation outcomes

Electrode placement affects subthalamic nucleus stimulation outcomes

Researchers have identified factors associated with motor, cognitive and mood outcomes after deep-brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus in a large cohort of patients with Parkinson’s disease. [More]