Brain 'Pacemaker' Treats Parkinson's
Study Shows Surgery Called Deep-Brain Stimulation Treats Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease
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Careful Screening Critical
Okun points out that the study participants were younger than the typical patient who is considered for surgery in the U.S., and they were very carefully screened -- all factors, he says, which undoubtedly played a role in their good response.
He adds that evaluation by a team of various specialists is an essential step for patients being considered for deep-brain stimulation.
The team should include: a neurologist specializing in movement disorders who evaluates patient symptoms both on and off L-dopa treatment; a neuropsychologist who evaluates cognitive performance; a neurosurgeon; and possibly even a psychiatrist.
"Anyone who is considering this surgery needs to be evaluated at a specialized treatment center with this multidisciplinary team in place," he says. "And patients will need multiple adjustments once the device is in place."