Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Brain surgery for Parkinson's disease

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TWC News: Brain surgery for Parkinson's disease
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Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder, and over the last three decades the treatment options were limited - until now.

The symptoms of Parkinson's disease include tremors. Medication is an option, but long-term use can worsen the symptoms.

Diagnosing the disease can be done with a brain scan which measures the level of dopamine.

"When people become symptomatic with Parkinson's, dopamine levels are about 80 percent reduced," neurologist Dr. Julie Pilitsis said.

After medications are no longer effective, some patients are candidates for brain surgery where a deep brain stimulator is implanted.

"Make a small whole in the brain about the size of nickel," Dr. Pilitsis said. "We open up the covering of the brain. We use a special micro-electrode tip which is the finest thread in diameter."

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