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9. Parkinsons



     Parkinson's Disease

    Fetal Cells Benefit Parkinsonís Patients :

    TORONTOóFetal brain cell transplants can benefit younger Parkinsonís disease patients, according to researchers in Denver and New York.

    Results of the long-awaited trials, in which dopamine-producing fetal brain cells were implanted into the brains of Parkinsonís patients, were released at the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

    Curt Freed, M.D., of the University of Colorado in Denver, and Stanley Fahn, M.D., of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, described the results of a complicated surgical lottery used to evaluate the treatment in 40 Parkinsonís patients. In a random process, some patients received actual cell implants, while the rest received a placebo surgery that left a hole in their skulls, but no penetration of the dura mater.

     One year after undergoing the procedure, the nine patients under the age of 60 who received transplants of fetal brain tissue showed significant improvement in their movement scores. Patients who received the placebo surgery and tranplantees over 60 showed no significant benefits, according to the researchers. At the meeting, they displayed PET scans that showed new dopamine-producing neurons in the younger patientsí brains.

    NEW YORK, Jul 02 (Reuters Health) -- Electrically stimulating a region of the brain appears to show some promise for treating movement problems in patients with Parkinson's disease, according to preliminary results in five patients.

     Dr. Tetsuo Yokoyama and colleagues from Hamamatsu University School of Medicine in Japan surgically placed an electrode that continuously stimulated the patients' subthalamic nucleus, a region of the brain that helps to control movement.

     The patients were between 60 and 73 years of age and had balance problems and a "freezing gait," a disorder associated with Parkinson's disease in which the person suddenly stops during walking and cannot continue, according to a report in the July issue of Neurosurgery.

     Three of the patients had previously undergone pallidotomy, another type of brain surgery, but had not improved.

     Three months after placement of the electrode, tests scores for falling, freezing, and ease of walking were significantly improved compared with the presurgery scores in all five patients, the investigators report. The level of improvement was on par with drug treatment used before the surgery.

     On further study, the team found that patients experienced fewer falls and marked improvement in freezing and gait after subthalamic nucleus stimulation, but there was no effect on balance problems.

     Subthalamic stimulation "effectively alleviates freezing gait and improves walking to its status during the preoperative on-drug phase and can be applied for the treatment of Parkinson's patients with these symptoms," Yokoyama and colleagues conclude.

     In an accompanying editorial, Roy A.E. Bakay of Atlanta, Georgia, writes that it is still too early to "anoint subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation as the next miracle in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, but it certainly merits continued investigation."

  • Other Information

In Italy

  • A.I.P.

Associazione Italiana Parkinsoniani
Via Zuretti, 35
20125 MILANO
Tel. 02/66713111 Fax 02/6705283

AIP (Roma) Corso Rinascimeanto 24,

00186 Roma

Tel 06 68804403 (Helpline per Parkinson)

 Page Links       Parkinson's Disease and the Role of Therapy

Brain Disorders Network / Index

Mental Health Net - PsychJournalSearch

Mental Health Net

Internet Mental Health Resources

GENETICA DELLA MALATTIA DI PARKINSON E PARKINSONISMI GENETICI PROF. VINCENZO BONIFATI Introduzione: leziologia della Malattia di Parkinson Ť eterogenea La nosografia delle malattie neurodegenerative, compresi i parkinsonismi, basata sinora su criteri clinico-patologici,

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