Spinal cord stimulation may benefit Parkinson's patients

Jun 14, 2010
Ming Cheng, M..D, a neurosurgeon at Rhode Island Hospital, presents his findings on spinal cord stimulation and its potential ability to modulate Parkinson's disease symptoms at the 2010 American Society for Stereotactical and Functional Neurosurgery Biennial Meeting, June 14-16 in New York City. Credit: Rhode Island Hospital department of neurosurgery

A new study from Rhode Island Hospital indicates that spinal cord stimulation may be able to modulate Parkinson's disease symptoms. The lead author will present the findings at the 2010 American Society for Stereotactical and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN) Biennial Meeting, June 14-16 in New York City.

Ming Cheng, MD, is a at Rhode Island Hospital and the lead author on an abstract called "Outcome of Stimulation." Other studies previously found motor function improvement with spinal cord stimulation (SCS) in an of (PD). The findings from these studies prompted the researchers to test SCS on a single 82-year-old male with PD.

Cheng, who is also an assistant professor of neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, worked with colleagues at Brown to implant the SCS system and then test the effects at multiple frequencies while the patient was off medication.

"Our study shows no changes in pain assessment to control for reduction in pain as the reason for motor improvement," says Cheng. "What we did find is that low-frequency SCS produced a readily apparent and statistically significant worsening of Parkinson's disease symptoms." Cheng, who is also a physician with the Neurosurgery Foundation, Inc., continues, "These findings and locomotion 'walking time' were reversed at high stimulation frequencies."

This work has been replicated in a second patient, with similar results. Cheng notes that the results of the study are extremely limited as it was performed in only one patient; however, he believes that further studies are in order to determine the possible benefits of this approach for PD patients.

Explore further: Mali announces new Ebola case

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

1 hour ago

The next Ebola or the next SARS. Maybe even the next HIV. Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, U.S. public health officials are girding for the next health disaster.

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

9 hours ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

9 hours ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

Nov 22, 2014

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

User comments : 0

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.