Medical University of South Carolina has new Parkinson's treatment

Wednesday, January 23rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Charleston-AP) -- The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston is performing a new treatment for Parkinson's Disease.

The school says today it has done six deep brain stimulation implants since December Seventh. The Food and Drug Administration approved the treatment for general symptoms of Parkinson's Disease last week.

It involves surgically implanting electrodes deep in the brain to target areas that control motor skills.

The electrodes are connected to devices similar to pacemakers that are implanted beneath the collar bone. They deliver electronic impulses like doses of medication.

The procedure had been approved for treatment of some symptoms in 1997.

Doctor Kenneth Bergmann says the treatment doesn't cure the disease. But he says it treats the disabling symptoms of the disease with few side affects.

Bergmann says in late stages of the disease a person on medication suffers random episodes of the inability to move or the creation of involuntary motions.

The new procedure improves tremors, slowness, stiffness and walking difficulties.