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: How the world is underestimating Ebola: WHO

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ivory Coast closes borders with Ebola-hit neighbours

59 minutes ago

The Ivory Coast has closed its borders with Ebola-hit Guinea and Liberia in a bid to protect citizens against an epidemic that has killed 1,427 people across West Africa, the prime minister said Saturday.

How the world is underestimating Ebola: WHO

9 hours ago

The Ebola epidemic tearing through western Africa is by far the deadliest known outbreak of the disease, yet the magnitude of the spread is believed to be severely underestimated.

Last Ebola-free region of Liberia falls to virus

9 hours ago

Every region of Liberia has now been hit by Ebola, officials said Friday, as the World Health Organization warned the fight against the worst-ever outbreak of the killer disease would take months.

Ebola death toll rises to 1,427: WHO

20 hours ago

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak sweeping through west African countries has risen to 1,427 out of more than 2,600 cases, the World Health Organization said Friday.

User comments : 0