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Surface Brain Stimulation May Ease Parkinson's Symptoms

Animal study found it helped with movement problems

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Movement problems caused by Parkinson's disease can be eased through electronic stimulation of the brain surface, says a study in the Dec. 2 issue of Neuron.

Scientists implanted electrodes on the brain surfaces of baboons with chemically induced symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The scientists found that low-voltage, high-frequency stimulation of the brain's motor cortex reduced movement difficulties. There was no evidence of cell damage or inflammation.

This form of surface brain stimulation may prove an effective alternative to the deep-brain electrodes currently used for this kind of treatment, the researchers concluded. Complex surgery is required to put the deep-brain electrodes in place.

The researchers added that comparative clinical trials are needed to determine whether the surface motor stimulation is as efficient as direct stimulation of the deep brain regions.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease.

SOURCE: Cell Press, news release, Dec. 1, 2004
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