New Parkinson's Device Limits Surgery

Stimulates both sides of brain at once

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FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a simplified, somewhat less invasive brain stimulation device for people with Parkinson's disease, according to the product's manufacturer.

Medtronic's Kinetra Neurostimulator stimulates both sides of the brain with a single implanted device instead of the once-required two. This reduces the amount of surgery needed.

This type of device is designed to stimulate structures deep within the brain that influence motor control and to block brain signals that cause Parkinson's symptoms, including shaking movements, stiffness, and slowness of motor function, Medtronic says in a prepared statement.

The company cites a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicinewhich concluded that Parkinson's patients receiving this type of brain stimulation therapy over five years showed improvement of 49 percent to 54 percent in motor function and being able to perform "activities of daily living."

For more information about Parkinson's, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.


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