This week is new StadyA study published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine analyzed the use of a new technology to treat Parkinson’s disease, and a 62-year-old patient who was suffering from the condition was able to resume movement in his legs and walk again.
The patient was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 28 years ago. He saw many specialists and underwent various treatments to reduce the symptoms of the disease, the most important of which was loss of balance and movement, but without significant results.
How does the new technology work?
This technology, called targeted epidural electrical stimulation (EES), is a minimally invasive procedure and works with neuroprosthetics capable of modulating the activity of nerves associated with leg movements in real time, and the ability to reproduce the natural activation of the spinal cord during walking (walking).
EES, when combined with deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus — a brain area associated with motor functions — promotes longer steps, improves balance, and reduces freezing while walking.
New treatment could revolutionize treatment of Parkinson’s disease
According to a neurosurgeon who specializes in treating Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Bruno BourjailiIncorporating the new technique in parallel with existing procedures could enhance the outcomes of Parkinson’s disease treatment.
“Currently, one useful treatment for Parkinson’s disease is deep brain stimulation, or DBS, where an electrode placed in the patient’s brain helps significantly reduce tremors, stiffness, and slowness, but with clinical experience, we know that it is not effective. It is related to freezing of gait or changes in balance, which can be achieved by attaching this new technology“.
“The use of sensors on the legs with intraspinal stimulators has allowed a personalized and precise interaction that stimulates specific neural areas and adjusts the patient’s gait in real time, helping to overcome one of the greatest challenges in treating Parkinson’s disease, as well as and eventually other types of Parkinson’s disease.“.
“Implantation of spinal electrodes is already well known and is currently performed frequently, with an emphasis on the treatment of chronic pain. The fact that it can be applied, in a convenient way, in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, could mean that this technology is implemented more quickly than other therapeutic innovations.“, highlights Dr. Bruno Bourjaili.
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