Therapy Shows Transient Benefits in Parkinson's Disease

In four patients, motor cortex stimulation led to improved motor scores for about six months

THURSDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with extradural motor cortex stimulation in four patients with Parkinson's disease led to some improvements in the first six months that were largely lost by the end of the year, researchers report in the July issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Jeffrey E. Arle, M.D., Ph.D., of the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass., and colleagues analyzed data from the four patients, aged 44 to 72, with medically refractory disease. The patients either weren't appropriate for deep brain stimulation or declined the procedure. In the motor cortex stimulation procedure, an electrode was placed parallel with and essentially overlying the M1 strip of cortex.

Patients showed a trend toward significant improvements in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Part III scores at one, three and six months, the investigators found. At one year, there was no significant decrease in score compared to baseline, though only two patients had sufficient follow-up data, the report indicates.

"Motor cortex stimulation appears to show transient benefit in treating Parkinson's disease. However, different stimulation parameters, or different electrode design, may allow beneficial effects to continue for longer periods of time in these patients. Further studies should be performed to examine these outstanding questions," the authors write.

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