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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.
Dangers of do-it-yourself brain stimulation: an interview with Dr Michael D. Fox

Dangers of do-it-yourself brain stimulation: an interview with Dr Michael D. Fox

tDCS is the administration of week electrical currents through electrodes on the scalp to modulate brain activity. [More]
FDA approves scalpel-free brain surgery to treat essential tremor

FDA approves scalpel-free brain surgery to treat essential tremor

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first focused ultrasound device to treat essential tremor, the most common movement disorder, in patients who do not respond to medication. [More]
Study provides more insight into effects of DBS in treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Study provides more insight into effects of DBS in treatment of Alzheimer's disease

New findings published today by a team of researchers led by Dr. Andres Lozano at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre of Toronto Western Hospital have provided further insight into the effects of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. [More]
New research shows how toxic Alzheimer's protein spreads through the brain

New research shows how toxic Alzheimer's protein spreads through the brain

A toxic Alzheimer's protein can spread through the brain--jumping from one neuron to another--via the extracellular space that surrounds the brain's neurons, suggests new research from Columbia University Medical Center. [More]
FDA approves new ExAblate Neuro to treat patients with essential tremor

FDA approves new ExAblate Neuro to treat patients with essential tremor

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first focused ultrasound device to treat essential tremor in patients who have not responded to medication. ExAblate Neuro uses magnetic resonance (MR) images taken during the procedure to deliver focused ultrasound to destroy brain tissue in a tiny area thought to be responsible for causing tremors. [More]
Researcher explores whether DBS can help improve life of bipolar disorder patients

Researcher explores whether DBS can help improve life of bipolar disorder patients

Jennifer Sweet, MD, a neurosurgeon at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, recently opened a clinical research study to learn if there is a structural target in the brain for patients suffering from bipolar disorder and whether deep brain stimulation (DBS) can bring them relief. [More]
NeuroDerm starts patient enrollment in long-term safety study of ND0612 for treatment of Parkinson’s disease

NeuroDerm starts patient enrollment in long-term safety study of ND0612 for treatment of Parkinson’s disease

NeuroDerm Ltd., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing drugs for central nervous system disorders, today announced the start of patient enrollment in a long-term safety study (trial 012) of the company’s continuously administered subcutaneous levodopa/carbidopa formulation used in both ND0612H and ND0612L. [More]
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]
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