A Ray of Hope for Those with Parkinson’s
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19 April 2010
Bringing hope to people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, Andrew G Parrent, a neurosurgeon from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, demonstrated how an implant placed in the centre of the brain reduces the tremors related to Parkinson’s Disease. The demonstration was done at a neurosurgery conference, Modicon 2010 at the M S Ramaiah Memorial Hospital to coincide with its silver jubilee celebrations.
The treatment involves placing an electrode through a keyhole surgery in the brain, which is connected to a stimulator placed in the chest. The implanted stimulator counters the tremor–causing signals sent by the brain thereby reducing the symptoms significantly. The battery needs to be changed every five years and can be done through a simple out–patient procedure that is virtually painless.
This treatment reduces the discomfort and need for medication significantly. It, therefore, also reduces the severe side effects caused by the medication given for this disease. Though it is not a cure, it improves the quality of life of patients significantly, Dr Parrent said.
Hailing the technology and the course of medical science, senior neurosurgeon R M Varma, said, “The human phenomenon and the global revolution are at a crucial point. This is a quantum leap in medical and surgical practice with reference to quality of life.”
Some patients who attended the conference exchanged views on the medical conditions they faced. A patient who had undergone this surgery, operated in Bangalore by Dr Ravi Gopal Varma, Professor and Head of Neurosurgery at MS Ramaiah Hospital, shared his experience with others generating interest and hope.
While the technology is just 20 years old, it is spreading hope and promises to make the management of this degenerative disease easier. At present this surgery is available at MS Ramaiah Memorial Hospital in Bangalore at a subsidised cost of anywhere between Rs 4 to 6 lakhs including the cost of implant, said Dr Varma.