Deep brain stimulation offers new hope for dystonia treatment

November 21, 2006

Dystonia, a group of diseases that cause a patient's muscles to involuntary contract with movement, has had a relatively limited and ineffective number of treatments in the past. New research shows that a recently developed surgical treatment, deep brain stimulation (an off switch for the brain), has provided dramatic benefits in some patients.

A new study, published in Neuromodulation, has confirmed that preliminary evidence regarding this new treatment is more effective for certain types of dystonia than other treatments used in the past. It has relieved the symptoms that sometimes force patients into painful, involuntary postures.

"We knew from early studies that a certain type dystonia has a dramatic response to surgery. What was not clear, prior to this study, was whether patients with other types of dystonia would also respond in a similar fashion," says Dr. Kathryn Holloway, head researcher. "This study shows that many forms of dystonia did respond well to the new treatment," she continued.

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Explore further: Are cellular lipids the missing link between a faulty gene and dystonia?

Related Stories

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.