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Brain 'Pacemaker' Treats Parkinson's

Study Shows Surgery Called Deep-Brain Stimulation Treats Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

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."

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