Parkinson's disease Patients Can Benefit from Spinal Cord Stimulation in Reducing Pain and Motor Symptoms, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021 - By WMR

Parkinson's disease Patients Can Benefit from Spinal Cord Stimulation in Reducing Pain and Motor Symptoms, Study Suggests

According to a new research study led by a group of researchers from the U.S. and Japan have suggested that spinal cord stimulation (SCS) reduced pain and decreased motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, , where deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies were ineffective in the patients.

In this study, researchers recruited 15 patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease can be defined as a neurodegenerative disorder which is categorized by several physical symptoms including tremors and progressive difficulty walking and talking, and also non-motor symptoms such as pain and mental or behavioral changes. The average of the participants was 74 and disease duration was around 17 years. Moreover, patients reported about the previous failed treatments (DBS and drug treatments) that could not alleviate the pain.

Moreover, researchers implanted percutaneous electrodes near the patients' spines, and chose one of three types of electrical stimulation, which includes on-off bursts, continuous, and continuous bursts of varying intensity. Later, researchers informed that patients reported about substantial improvement of around 59% among all patients and stimulation modes. In addition, 73% of patients exhibited significant improvement in the 10-meter walk, a test that calculates walking speed to evaluate functional mobility and gait, whereas 64% of patients exhibited improvements in in the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. TUG test is performed to assesses physical balance and stability, both standing and in motion.

Krishnan Chakravarthy from UC San Diego Health stated, “We are seeing growing data on novel uses of spinal cord stimulation and specific waveforms on applications outside of chronic pain management, specifically Parkinson's disease. The potential ease of access and implantation of stimulators in the spinal cord compared to the brain suggests that this is a very exciting area for future exploration.”

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