A pioneering technology that allows patients to control their Parkinson’s disease symptoms using an iPod will be showcased at Arab Health by a renowned UK hospital.
The London Clinic, a private hospital and charity in the heart of the Harley Street Medical Area, will attend the exhibition to highlight one of their latest techniques - Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).
DBS is a surgical procedure that involves implanting electrodes into the areas of the brain that control movement. These electrodes are then connected to a pulse generator via fine wires that is placed under the skin in the upper chest or stomach area. When the pulse generator (a device like a pacemaker), is turned on, it delivers precise electrical signals to the targeted area to modulate or disrupt abnormal signals that cause the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic progressive neurological disease that affects an estimated 6.9 million people worldwide, a figure expected to grow to 14.2 million by 2040. The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremor, slow movement and stiffness. Many of the symptoms are caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce a chemical messenger called dopamine.
There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, but drugs that increase or substitute for dopamine can help manage the symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, as the condition progresses, medication can be less effective at reliably controlling symptoms, making it increasingly difficult for people with Parkinson’s disease to live healthy and independent lives. Evidence from clinical trials suggests that Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) should be considered soon after patients start to experience fluctuations in the control of symptoms with medication alone.
Mr Erlick Pereira, Consultant Neurosurgeon, explains:
The London Clinic is the first private hospital in the UK to use the innovative Abbott InfinityTM DBS System to treat Parkinson’s disease patients. The electrodes implanted into the brain are segmented, which enables us to precisely steer electrical currents to the desired area in the brain, maximizing the therapeutic benefit whilst reducing the potential side effects. We perform DBS with a minimally invasive technique, without shaving the hair and under general anesthetic for patient comfort.
The Abbott Medical InfinityTM DBS system uses Bluetooth and iOS software, meaning the levels of stimulation from DBS can be adjusted with an external programmer to meet the patient’s specific needs. Patients are given an easy-to-use iPod controller that they can use to adjust their DBS settings within a pre-set range (set by their consultant), giving them greater control over their Parkinson’s disease symptoms. An added benefit of using a system on iOS is that it can be easily upgraded as the latest therapy advancements are approved, and is available in multiple languages.
Patients with certain types of chronic pain and other movement disorders such as dystonia, essential tremor and epilepsy can also benefit from DBS when their medication is ineffective or results in intolerable side effects.
Dr Binith Cheeran, Consultant Neurologist, says:
Patients are carefully selected for DBS by multidisciplinary teams. Clinical nurse specialists and specialist physiotherapists also play a key role in the treatment and recovery of the patient.
“As the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease become harder to manage, patients are looking for ways to take back control over their lives. DBS can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life and help them reduce their medication,” adds Dr Cheeran.
DBS is one form of neuromodulation, the alteration of nerve activity by electrical or pharmaceutical agents. The London Clinic also offers spinal cord stimulation to treat patients with chronic pain and dorsal root ganglion therapy for localized chronic pain. The London Clinic will be on stand to discuss the neuromodulation services and other pioneering therapies for a wide range of conditions at Arab Health 2018.
The Harley Street Medical Area is a collective of hospitals, clinics and specialists who deliver outstanding patient care through pioneering treatments and cutting-edge technologies. The Harley Street Medical Area Stand is a regular attender of Arab Health and will be located in the UK Pavilion on stand H7E30 – The London Clinic can be found within this stand.
The Arab Health Exhibition & Congress, the largest healthcare exhibition in the Middle East, is taking place from 29th January to the 1st February 2018, at the Dubai Convention and Exhibition Centre.