Home > Medical Supplies & Technology > Brain Pacemaker Reduces Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

Brain Pacemaker Reduces Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

Hyderabad is the capital and most populous city of the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is known as the city of pearls, lakes and, lately, for its IT companies. Doctors at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences there are performing an innovative surgical procedure to help reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease, or PD, is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer’s motor skills, speech, and other functions. PD’s symptoms include tremor, stiffness, and slowing of movement caused by degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the mid brain. PD also causes neuropsychiatric disturbances, which include mainly cognition, mood and behavior problems and can be as disabling as motor symptoms.

PD usually affects seniors and older adults in the age group ranging from 55 – 75 years old, but it can also develop in younger people. The disease is progressive, with symptoms becoming more severe over time. Deep brain stimulation, a complicated surgery also known as the pacemaker for the brain, is fast evolving into a reliable therapy for Parkinson’s disease. A team of neurosurgeons at the institute has managed to achieve an improvement of 80 per cent in the condition of patients crippled by Parkinson’s.

brain by *Mateu on deviantART

The team has conducted close to 90 successful surgeries, helping patients lead a life of independence and dignity. While pacemakers for the brain may not cure Parkinson’s, neurologists say the therapy has drastically reduced the symptoms and managed to improve the quality of life. Deep brain stimulation involves placing electrodes in the ‘sub-thalamus’ region of the brain. The electrodes are connected to a pacemaker (Implantable Pulse Generator) which sends electrical signals to the brain to stimulate its activity.

The pacemaker is placed just below the collarbone, and runs on a battery, which has a shelf life of five years. Doctors program the pacemaker to deliver appropriate stimulation to the brain. “We have seen remarkable transformation in patients. Many have gone back to lead their normal lives. The rate of worsening of the disease has reduced,” says Rupam Borgohain, Professor of Neurology, who heads the DBS procedure at the NIMS.

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About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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