Deep brain stimulation offers new hope for dystonia treatment
New treatment providing life-changing results
Richmond, Va. – 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.
The study also showed that the surgery is more effective if performed earlier in the course of the disease. However, even patients with long-standing symptoms benefited from the surgery.
This study was published in Neuromodulation. Media wishing to receive a PDF of the full article, please contact [email protected].
Kathryn L. Holloway received her M.D. at Rutgers's Medical School and is currently Chief of Staff – Neurosurgery at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Holloway can be reached for questions at [email protected].
Neuromodulation disseminates scientific and clinical information relevant to the field of neuromodulation. The journal's sole purpose is to advance the basic and clinical science of the field of neuromodulation. For more information visit: www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/ner
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