Neurostimulation Benefits Early Parkinson’s Disease

neuroSubthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) offers benefits earlier in the course of Parkinson’s disease (PD), before the appearance of severe disabling motor complications, according to results of a randomized controlled trial.

In a group of patients with relatively mild early motor complications of PD, subthalamic stimulation plus medical therapy was superior to medical therapy alone on several key measures of quality of life and motor function.

Results of the Controlled Trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Patients with Parkinson’s Disease (EARLYSTIM) were published February 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“The result of our study is that a new group of patients can do better with neurostimulation than with medication,” study investigator Gunther Deuschl, MD, from Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, told Medscape Medical News. [Read more…]

Hand Tremors – Not Always Parkinson’s Disease

Try holding a piece of paper with your hand extended out in front of your body for a short time and you’ll likely see a slight tremble of the hand. This is totally normal and goes largely unnoticed. It’s caused by the motions of your body processes — your heart beating and your chest moving as you breathe — which have a kind of ripple effect on muscles all over your body.

However, with age, tremors of the hands and other areas of the body can become more noticeable, and can even begin to affect normal actions such as handwriting, holding a cup, eating with utensils or even speaking.

This may be annoying or embarrassing — or lead to fear that you may have a disease such as Parkinson’s. For some, tremors worsen, making it increasingly difficult to perform day-to-day tasks. [Read more…]