Health Discoveries in Movement Disorders, Parkinsons etc

New DBS guidelines set for Parkinson's patients

October 28, 2010

New guidelines for the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for individuals with Parkinson's disease were published online recently in the Archives of Neurology.

DBS is an electrical stimulation technique that targets certain areas of the brain in order to prevent the loss of movement control, balance and coordination that accompanies the disorder.

Fifty neurosciences experts developed a consensus regarding the guidelines, which consider the ideal candidate for DBS to be an otherwise healthy patient with tremors and motor problems who cannot tolerate medication for their condition.

The group recommended that the procedure be performed by an experienced neurosurgery team with expertise in high-tech neuroimaging equipment and microsurgery. They also warned that applying DBS to a brain region called the subthalamic nuclei may trigger depression and side effects in some Parkinson's patients. The guidelines acknowledge that surgery to remove an affected portion of the brain should be considered as an alternative treatment for many patients.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, is the only medical center in Long Island and Queens to offer DBS surgery. Dr. Alon Mogilner, a neurosurgeon who heads the hospital's functional and restorative neurosurgery program, has had significant success in treating headache patients with neuromodulation.

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