Surgery helps symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Best Health News, 2012
A type of surgery for people with Parkinson’s disease - called deep brain stimulation - helps to reduce symptoms for at least three years, a new study has found.
Brain cells need this chemical to send messages around your brain, and to nerves and muscles throughout your body.
But drugs for Parkinson’s disease can stop working after several years, and they can cause unpleasant side effects that may be permanent.
Surgery is another way of helping some people in the later stages of Parkinson's disease.
This is an operation that temporarily stuns some of the cells in the part of the brain known as the globus pallidus.
Both these types of surgery aim to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's and the side effects that drugs can cause after some time.
This study included 89 people who had pallidal deep brain stimulation and 70 who had subthalamic deep brain stimulation.
After their operation, people took tests every few months to measure how well they were able to move around.
The researchers then compared whether surgery improved people’s movements, and how long the effect lasted.
Pallidal deep brain stimulation seemed to work as well as subthalamic deep brain stimulation After three years, people were still able to move around more, and more easily, than before they had surgery.
Although people said that their quality of life improved after the first six months, by the end of the study their quality of life fell slightly.