Neurosurgery tends to be the most advanced field when advancing the use of new technology to help patients. The latest advances in movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease are revolutionizing the way medicine is improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people who would otherwise be placed in nursing homes.
The latest technology is called brain stimulation therapy. Brain stimulation therapies involve activating or directly touching the brain with electricity, magnets, or implants to treat tremors, depression and other physical and psychological disorders. Modern electrical neuromodulation implants that are now FDA approved for a variety of movement and balance disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. More recently investigational studies have been done using brain stimulation implants to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD), obesity, dystonia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and certain psychiatric illnesses. With the development of the deep-brain stimulator (DBS), a pacemaker-like device developed in the early 1990’s, there appears to be a limitless scope of clinical indications now being considered for treatment.
With the success of DBS surgeons have looked for other areas of the brain and conditions for stimulation using this advanced technology. DBS has now been investigated for its use in the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), epilepsy, obesity, chronic pain, addiction, and even Tourette’s syndrome.
See a video presentation made by Dr Joseph Maroon at the 2012 A4M meeting on Advances in Brain Stimulation.
Tri-State Neurosurgical Associates-UPMC
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Presbyterian University Hospital
Department of Neurosurgery
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