View Full Version : Spinal Therapy Eases Parkinsonís in Mice
03-19-2009, 04:53 PM
From The New York Times
03-20-2009, 03:21 AM
This spinal regulation treatment sounds like it has genuine hope to me!!!!
take care ,,, ken
03-20-2009, 07:15 AM
External magnetic fields or spine implants could provide alternatives to invasive brain surgery.
The symptoms of Parkinson's disease could one day be relieved by indirect electrical stimulation of the brain, via the spinal cord or even through the surface of the skull, according to two studies on rodents.
Miguel Nicolelis, a neuroscientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and his colleagues have now shown that, in animal models of Parkinson's disease, the DBS effect can be achieved by stimulating fibres in the spinal cord1.
The team's finding "opens the door for trials of less-invasive spinal-cord stimulation in other animal models of Parkinson's disease and in parkinsonian patients", says Bart Nuttin, a neurosurgeon at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium who has performed many DBS operations.
Meanwhile, at Stanford University in California, neuroscientist Karl Deisseroth and his colleagues have found that the neurons activated by DBS might lie not at the site of the electrode, but much closer to the surface of the brain2.
This means that doctors might be able to reach the neurons by using non-surgical techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, where magnetic fields induce weak electric currents in the brain. Both studies are published in this week's Science.
03-22-2009, 04:21 AM
In a new study, associate professor Dr. Karl Deisseroth and graduate students Viviana Gradinaru and Murtaza Mogri say they believe they've identified the specific part of the brain that is affected by that electrical stimulation.
In rodent tests, they found that instead of the subthalmic nucleus ó the area of the brain where the electrical implants are typically implanted ó it's actually the axons, or neural wires, that connect the subthalmic nucleus to other parts of the brain, that are most impacted by stimulation.
The researchers used a technique called "optogenetics," engineering rodents' brain cells so the cells are controllable by light. This allowed them to control different sections of the brain at different times, and they determined that by stimulating the axons the rodents' Parkinsonian symptoms seemed to stop.
"This insight leads to deeper understanding of the circuit and could even lead to new kinds of treatment,"
Deisseroth said in a news release. "Because these axons are coming from areas closer to the brain's surface, new treatments could perhaps be less invasive than deep-brain stimulation."
Their study was released Thursday in the online journal Science Express
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