Parkinson’s disease symptoms respond well to deep brain stimulation
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as the involuntary movements may be effectively countered by deep brain stimulation.
St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ), the Minnesota maker of new innovative medical devices, reported that PD patients who underwent the company’s deep brain stimulation therapy had longer symptom-free periods than those who did not receive it. The data represents the company’s first controlled study designed to see how patients undergoing neurostimulation fared.
Currently, the company’s Libra and LibraXP deep brain deep brain stimulation systems are available internationally, but not in the U.S.
The St. Jude study was conducted at 15 medical centers in the U.S. and involved 136 patients. Results showed that those who received the therapy had an average increase of 4.7 hours in which they did not show dyskinesia, which are the involuntary movements caused by medications used to manage the condition. That compares to an increase of 1.77 hours among the control group that did not receive deep brain stimulation.
The results of the study were published in the Lancet Neurology Journal.
“These results are important as they represent the first large, randomized, controlled study of a constant current device for managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Michael Okun, administrative director of the University Of Florida College Of Medicine’s Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, national medical director for the National Parkinson Foundation and the primary author of the article, in a St. Jude news release.
Other results were:
- Motor scores for those in the stimulation group improved 39 percent compared to the baseline as measured by the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS).
- There was a statistically significant decrease in the amount of medications needed to control PD symptoms in the stimulation group compared to the group without stimulation.