A British hospital is the first in the world to implant a brain device to reverse the symptoms of Parkinson’s – and its test patient says it is amazing.
It overrides the abnormal brain-cell firing patterns caused by Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease leads to parts of the brain becoming progressively damaged over years and currently has no cure. Symptoms include involuntary tremoring, slow movement, loss of automatic movement and stiff and inflexible muscles.
Most people develop symptoms when they are over 50, but around 5% of sufferers first experience symptoms when they are under 40. Symptoms include involuntary tremoring, slow movement, loss of automatic movement and stiff and inflexible muscles. Traditional operations for Parkinson’s involve implanting a fairly large battery into the chest with wires that run under the skin through to the top of the head.
The new DBS system, the smallest that has ever been created, involves a tiny battery system for the device that is implanted into the skull. The device delivers electrical impulses directly to targeted areas deep within the brain. To do this, electric probes are put through the skull into the subthalamic nuclei (an area deep in the centre of the brain that is critical in regulating movement).
It takes just three hours to carry out the new operation, about half the time it used to with the larger battery.