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New Stimulation Technique Studied in Parkinson's Disease

During inhaled anesthesia, microelectrode recordings can help guide electrode implantation

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Parkinsonian symptoms may markedly improve in patients in whom an inhalation anesthetic and microelectrode recordings are used during deep brain stimulation procedures, according to the results of a preliminary study published in the August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Sheng-Huang Lin, M.D., of Tzu Chi University in Hualien, Taiwan, and colleagues studied 10 patients who received a desflurane anesthetic and a bilateral subthalamic nucleus electrode implantation, which was guided by microelectrode recordings.

After six months, the researchers found that total and motor Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale scores improved by a mean of 54.27 and 48.85, respectively, and observed a mean subthalamic nucleus neuronal firing rate of 29.7 Hertz. The surgical outcomes were similar to those in studies of patients who underwent deep brain stimulation while receiving a local anesthetic, according to the researchers.

"This may be a good alternative surgical method in patients with Parkinson's disease who are unable to tolerate deep brain stimulation surgery with local anesthesia," the authors conclude.

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