Can Brain Implants Improve Parkinson's?

A few months ago, I told you about a brain implant approved by the FDA to stimulate the vagus nerve in hopes of treating depression. At the time, I pointed out, new technology doesn't necessarily mean it's beneficial for you. The same may be true regarding a new study about another brain implant used to treat a half-dozen patients with advanced Parkinson's.

Levodopa is typically prescribed to Parkinson's patients with advanced symptoms, yet it makes them more prone to involuntary twitching and other movements.

After research proved successful on animals, scientists installed implants on six patients and monitored their progress for two years. The implants proved to be so successful -- improving movement by almost 50 percent and without the twitching -- researchers will take the next step to test the therapy in a more traditional double-blind study setting.

As you're waiting for a brain implant to treat your Parkinson's -- a day that may never come -- I urge you to try these more natural, healthier and safer treatments first:

Archives of Neurology, Vol. 62, No. 12, December 2005: 1833-1837

BBC News December 13, 2005

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