Studies have shown that the benefits of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease lasted for at least 15 years

Key points

  • New research shows that deep brain stimulation has provided Parkinson’s disease patients with benefits for at least 15 years.
  • The treatment helped study participants reduce the use of Parkinson’s drugs by 51% and reduced the side effects of these drugs.
  • In the long run, the quality of life of Parkinson’s disease patients receiving deep brain stimulation treatment has also improved by 14%.

The new research confirms what neurologists see in their clinics: Providing electrical impulses to the brain can provide long-term benefits for Parkinson’s disease patients.

NeurologyThe Medical Journal of the American Academy of Neurology published a study this month that found that deep brain stimulation therapy can effectively alleviate certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and the side effects of some commonly used drugs for a long time. Treat progressive diseases. During at least 15 years of treatment, the quality of life of study participants has also been continuously improved.

The following is the latest research showing the benefits of deep brain stimulation for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Research

In this study, researchers began to understand the long-term performance of Parkinson’s disease patients after trying bilateral deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. The therapy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease20 Years ago.

People receiving this treatment must undergo surgery to insert electrodes into the brain and insert a pulse generator battery (a device similar to a pacemaker) under the collarbone or in the abdomen. It then delivers electrical impulses to areas of the brain related to motor functions. The person receiving this treatment can use the controller to turn the device on and off.

Jean-Philippe Langevin, Doctor of Medicine

The mechanism of deep brain stimulation is still an area of ​​research. An oversimplified explanation is that it acts like a noise reduction device.

— Jean-Philippe Langevin, MD

“The mechanism of action of deep brain stimulation is still an area of ​​research. An oversimplified explanation is that it is like a noise cancellation device,” said neurosurgeon, Pacific Neuroscience Institute, Providence St. John Health Center, Santa Monica Said Dr. Jean-Philippe Langevin, director of the Reparative Neurosurgery and Deep Brain Stimulation Program. , California.

He added: “According to this model, the loss of dopamine cells caused by Parkinson’s disease leads to the introduction of interference between different areas of the brain that control movement. This noise can cause Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Deep brain stimulation increases monotonous and continuous The signal helps to reduce noise, so that the movement is smoother.”

Researchers looked at the data of 51 Parkinson’s disease patients who had implanted deep brain stimulation devices at the University of Grenoble Alpes in France. Participants were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at about 40 years old on average, and the device was installed at about 51 years old.

The study carried out an average of 17 years of follow-up after the implant surgery, and about 20% of the participants have used the device for 20 years or more, allowing researchers to better understand the long-term effects of this treatment.

Discoveries about drug use and sports complications

The results show that deep brain stimulation can effectively reduce the movement complications caused by Parkinson’s disease for more than 15 years.

Researchers also found that the therapy reduced the time a person spent experiencing movement disorders by 75%. Dyskinesia is a side effect of a common Parkinson’s disease drug called levodopa, which can cause rapid, involuntary body movements such as twisting, peristalsis, and head swings.

More importantly, when the medication was no longer effective, the time participants were “off” was reduced by approximately 59%, and medication use to control dopamine levels was reduced by 51%.

Bouton, Chad, MS

In a rapidly developing field called bioelectronic medicine, technologies such as deep brain stimulation are being developed that can stimulate the nervous system with electrical impulses instead of drugs.

— Chad Burton, Ms.

“This is amazing and important because many drugs, including those used for Parkinson’s disease, have a lot of side effects-especially at high doses,” said the Senior Professor and Associate of Engineering at Northwell Feinstein Institute of Medicine. President Chad Bouton said. Health in New York, has studied deep brain stimulation and bioelectronic medicine.

He added: “In the rapidly developing field known as bioelectronic medicine, technologies such as deep brain stimulation are being developed that can stimulate the nervous system with electrical impulses instead of drugs. This usually significantly reduces or eliminates side effect.”

Strength and limitations of deep brain stimulation

Although the participants still experienced Parkinson’s disease progression during the study, their quality of life continued to improve by an average of 14% from surgery to follow-up approximately 15 years later. Experts say this discovery illustrates the advantages and limitations of deep brain stimulation in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Michael S. Okun, MD

The study also shows that deep brain stimulation is a symptomatic treatment, which means that many features of Parkinson’s disease will continue to develop, including walking, speaking, and thinking problems.

— Michael S. Okun, MD

“This study confirms [certain people] People with Parkinson’s disease may get long-term benefits from deep brain stimulation. However, the study also shows that deep brain stimulation is a symptomatic treatment, which means that many features of Parkinson’s disease will continue to develop, including walking, talking, and thinking problems,” said Michael S. Parkinson, MD, University of Florida. Chairman and Executive Director of Neurology at the Health Norman Ficksel Institute of Neurological Diseases.

In general, experts say these results help clarify what Parkinson’s disease patients most want to know when considering this treatment.

“This study answers two key questions we often get from clinical patients: How long will the effect of deep brain stimulation last? Will deep brain stimulation lose its effect over time?” Dr. Langevin said. “The authors of the study confirmed our long-term clinical observation that deep brain stimulation will maintain its benefits over time.”

It is important to note that this study is entirely focused on deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. The therapy can also target another part of the brain, called the globus pallidus, but long-term results of deep brain stimulation in this area have not been obtained.

Is deep brain stimulation right for you?

Although deep brain stimulation has been shown to provide long-term benefits, this treatment does have some risks. According to the Parkinson Foundation, there is a 1% to 3% chance of infection, intracranial hemorrhage, stroke, or other complications due to treatment.

In addition, deep brain stimulation may be more effective for some people than others. If you have experienced Parkinson’s disease symptoms for at least five years, are struggling with the side effects of Parkinson’s disease medications, or your symptoms make it difficult for you to perform daily activities, this may be an option worth considering.

“The decision to support or oppose deep brain stimulation should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team that can jointly construct a risk-benefit profile of the potential candidate,” explained Dr. Okun. “The team usually consists of a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, a neuropsychologist, a psychiatrist and rehabilitation specialists.”

If you have Parkinson’s disease and are interested in exploring deep brain stimulation, please consult a neurologist.

What this means to you

If you are considering deep brain stimulation as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, you may want to know how long this treatment lasts. Now, the doctor can confidently say that these benefits will last for at least 15 years, which may help you decide to try this treatment.

Although deep brain stimulation has shown promising results for patients with Parkinson’s disease, there are also some risks. Experts say that you should work with a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals to determine whether the potential benefits of this treatment outweigh the risks involved.

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