On the occasion of World Parkinson’s Day (April 11), health experts highlight the role of innovations in improving the lives of patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Minimally invasive treatments are transforming lives by treating a variety of disabling neurological symptoms like tremors, muffled speech and slowed movements.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurologic disorder that develops when the cells in the brain producing a chemical called dopamine stop working properly or are lost over time. These cells control movements like writing, walking, talking, etc. With the degeneration of these cells, the symptoms start to appear. Over the decades, the disease has brought many lives to a screeching halt.
“With time, the symptoms of Parkinson’s progress, making it difficult for the patients to manage the disease. Opting for the advanced DBS technology, intervention along with medical treatment, can help patients in attaining a better quality of life,” said Dr. Mohit Bhatt, Director of Neurosciences, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute.
DBS systems come with rechargeable batteries that make the device work 24 hours. Essentially, the device wakes up with you and manages your symptoms at all times. The latest DBS systems are engineered for precise neural targeting to customize therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
“The newer technologies come with programming flexibility, multiple frequencies and lower pulse widths that treat a broader range of patients throughout their disease progression. These systems also come with rechargeable batteries that last as long as 25 years. The benefits of rechargeable batteries – longevity and precise stimulation – are possible only with the advanced DBS technology. Extended battery life helps reduce surgical interventions and the risk associated with replacement procedures,” shared Prof. (Dr.) Paresh K. Doshi, Director of Neurosurgery, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai.
After the surgery, the patient will still have to live with Parkinson’s, but the disease becomes manageable. You have a device that controls the tremors as soon as they disturb the brain. The treatment journey for PD has come a long way from when experts relied only on pallidotomy and thalamotomy that involved the targeted destruction of brain cells, which is irreversible. DBS, on the other hand, is reversible. If the patient is not comfortable, we can switch off the stimulation and there will be no impact to the brain, which is not the case with Pallidotomy or Thalamotomy. Advanced solutions like DBS are significantly improving the day-to-day experiences for movement disorder patients and reducing the reliance on medication. And it is time the patients are made aware of such treatments.