DBS treatment may slow the progression of Parkinson's tremor in early-stage patients

June 29, 2018

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) may slow the progression of tremor for early-stage Parkinson's disease patients, according to a Vanderbilt University Medical Center study released in the June 29 online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study is the first evidence of a treatment that slows the progression of one of the cardinal features of Parkinson's, but a larger-scale clinical trial across multiple investigational centers is needed to confirm the finding.

"The finding concerning tremor progression is truly exceptional," said senior author David Charles, MD, professor and vice-chairman of Neurology. "It suggests that DBS applied in early-stage Parkinson's disease may slow the progression of tremor, which is remarkable because there are no treatments for Parkinson's that have been proven to slow the progression of any element of the disease."

Patients in the Vanderbilt study were randomized to receive DBS plus drug therapy or drug therapy alone; the drug therapy alone group was seven times more likely to develop new rest tremor after two years in comparison to the DBS plus drug therapy group.

The trial, which began in 2006, was controversial because it recruited patients with early-stage Parkinson's disease for DBS brain surgery. At that time, DBS was approved for only advanced-stage Parkinson's disease when symptoms were no longer adequately controlled by medication.

"Since this was the first early DBS trial, it was unknown whether there were individual motor symptoms very early in Parkinson's disease that may be more potently improved by DBS," said lead author Mallory Hacker, PhD, research assistant professor of Neurology.

The post hoc analysis showed that 86 percent of the drug therapy patients developed rest tremor in previously unaffected limbs over the course of the two-year period, while that occurred in only 46 percent of patients who had received DBS therapy in addition to drug therapy. Four of the DBS patients had rest tremor improvement and rest tremor completely disappeared from all affected limbs for one DBS patient.

The FDA has approved Vanderbilt to lead a large-scale, Phase III multicenter study that will enroll 280 people with very early-stage Parkinson's disease, beginning in 2019, and 17 other U.S. medical centers have joined the DBS in Early Stage Parkinson's Disease Study Group to participate.

"The field of DBS therapy for Parkinson's disease is moving toward earlier stages of treatment, therefore, we must conduct the pivotal trial to ensure patient safety and provide the Parkinson's community with the best possible medical evidence to guide treatment," Charles said.
-end-


Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Related Deep Brain Stimulation Articles from Brightsurf:

Keck Medicine of USC enrolling individuals in phase 3 clinical trial to treat mild Alzheimer's disease using deep brain stimulation
Keck Medicine of USC is enrolling individuals in an international phase 3 clinical trial to examine the safety and effectiveness of deep brain stimulation to treat Alzheimer's.

Does deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's increase risk of dementia?
There's good news for people with Parkinson's disease. A new study shows that deep brain stimulation may not increase the risk of developing dementia.

Light-based deep brain stimulation relieves symptoms of Parkinson's disease
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have used light-based deep brain stimulation to treat motor dysfunction in an animal model of Parkinson's disease.

Why doesn't deep-brain stimulation work for everyone?
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have mapped nine functional networks in the deep-brain structures of 10 healthy people, an accomplishment that could lead to improvements in deep-brain stimulation therapy for severe cases of Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions.

Beware of swimming if you use deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's
Researchers have identified nine cases of people who lost their ability to swim after having a deep brain stimulation device implanted to control symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Deep brain stimulation safer for patients with new MRI compatible electrode
Carbon electrodes will last longer than metal when embedded in the brain of patients with Parkinson's and tremors, and won't be affected by MRI.

How can ultrasonic brain stimulation cure brain diseases?
IBS scientists found a calcium channel expressed in astrocytes in the brain to be a highly sensitive target for LILFU-induced neuronal activity in the motor cortex, such as tail movement.

Deep brain stimulation for refractory severe tinnitus
Researchers investigated the safety and efficacy of deep brain stimulation in the treatment of refractory severe tinnitus in a small group of patients.

Deep magnet stimulation shown to improve symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder
Researchers have found that focusing powerful non-invasive magnet stimulation on a specific brain area can improve the symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Brain stimulation for PTSD patients
University of Houston assistant professor of electrical engineering Rose T.

Read More: Deep Brain Stimulation News and Deep Brain Stimulation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.