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02 July 2010
New Delhi, India

Parkinson’s disease can be completely cured by a new technique involving 3–Tefla MRI in pacemaker surgery being done across certain hospitals in India
A simple surgery involving a pacemaker can guarantee normal life to those affected with Parkinson’s disease.

The dreaded disease which leads to loss of control over physical activities causing abnormal and uncontrollable movements has so far been known to be an illness one can’t die of but cannot live with either.

"Most people and even doctors are not aware that Parkinson’s disease can be completely cured," Head of neurosurgery at Vimhans hospital in Delhi Alok Gupta says.

Gupta said the most recent surgery that he conducted in June involved a new technique, 3–Tefla MRI, which has made the process 100 per cent accurate, reports IANS.

Parkinson’s a neurological disorder usually associated with old age, certain drugs or head injuries – is caused when the generation of a chemical Dopamine is reduced in the brain. The 3–Tefla MRI helps in finding the exact location of the sub–thalamus nuclei which generates the chemical.

Nearly one per cent of the population above 60 years of age and five per cent of those above 80 across the world is affected with the disease at present.

"The usual medicines prescribed to the patients of Parkinson’s stop working after some time and abnormal physical activities like uncontrollable movement of hands are one of the side effects of the drug. The patients think that there is no hope for them and they are left bed–ridden for the rest of their lives," Gupta said.

The surgery places two wires of 1 mm thickness in the sub–thalamus, the part of brain responsible for secreting Dopamine. It is connected to a pacemaker placed below the collar bone. The pacemaker sends electronic signals to the brain leading to normalisation of the chemical balance and giving the patient control over physical activities.

"Mild electronic impulses have been found to reduce the chemical secretion and increased impulses lead to stimulation for secretion of the chemical," Gupta said.

The surgery costs around Rs 6–6.5 lakh in India, making the country one of the cheapest destinations for it.

"A hand held remote is given to the patient so that he can switch on or switch off the device. The patient is also given a range to adjust the frequency of the pacemaker if they feel that they are unable to control their physical activities," he adds.

The pacemaker’s battery is replaced every five year. However, new pacemakers with rechargeable batteries reduce the hassle of repeated surgery. The patients lead a normal life thereafter, avoiding only intense radiations like from an MRI, electric transformers and electro–magnetic security check equipments.

The device is safe for use around household equipment like mobile phones and microwaves.

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