A high-tech form of brain surgery that replaces scalpels with sound waves improved quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease that has resisted other forms of treatment, a new study has found.
Further, the School of Medicine researchers conclude their study offers “comprehensive evidence of safety” in terms of the approach’s effect on mood, behavior and cognitive ability, areas not significantly explored in previous research.
“In our initial study that looked at the outcomes of focused ultrasound surgery in Parkinson’s disease, we primarily described post-operative improvements in motor symptoms, specifically tremor,” said Scott Sperling, PsyD, a clinical neuropsychologist at UVA. “In this study, we extended these initial results and showed that focused ultrasound thalamotomy is not only safe from a cognitive and mood perspective, but that patients who underwent surgery realized significant and sustained benefits in terms of functional disability and overall quality of life.”
Focused Ultrasound and Parkinson’s Disease
Focused ultrasound, as the procedure is known, has already been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of essential tremor, the most common movement disorder. That approval came after a pioneering international study led by UVA neurosurgeon Jeff Elias, MD. He and his colleagues have since demonstrated the technology’s potential in reducing tremor in people with drug-resistant Parkinson’s disease. The goal is to use focused sound waves to interrupt the faulty brain circuits responsible for the uncontrollable shaking associated with the disease.
The new study looked at the effects on 27 adults, all with severe Parkinson’s tremor that had not responded to previous treatment. The study participants were initially divided into two groups. Twenty received the procedure, while seven received a fake procedure, to serve as a control group. (The seven in the control group were later offered the opportunity to receive the real procedure, and all but one did.)
After receiving the procedure, study participants reported improved quality of life at both three months and 12 months. “After surgery, patients experienced significant improvements in multiple aspects of quality of life, including their ability to perform simple daily tasks, emotional well-being and the sense of stigma they experienced due to their tremor,” Sperling said. “Our results suggest that post-operative improvements in tremor lead to very meaningful improvements in day-to-day functioning and, subsequently, to better overall quality of life.”
The Effects on Mood and Memory in Parkinson’s
The study was notable for its in-depth examination of the psychological and cognitive effects of the procedure, areas that have received relatively little attention in previous research.
The researchers found that mood and cognition, and the ability to go about daily life, ultimately had more effect on participants’ assessment of their overall quality of life than did their tremor severity or the amount of tremor improvement seen after the procedure.
“A person’s perception of their quality of life is shaped in many different ways,” Sperling said. “Mood and behavioral symptoms, such as depression, anxiety and apathy, often have a greater impact on quality of life than the measurable severity of one’s tremor.”
The only cognitive declines seen in participants followed through the study were in how quickly they were able to name colors and think of and speak words. The cause of this was unclear, though the researchers suggested this could be a result of the natural progression of Parkinson’s. (Focused ultrasound is being tested to address the tremor associated with the disease, not its other symptoms.)
The researchers noted that their study was limited by its small size and the fact that participants’ medication dosing varied, among other factors.
To become available as a treatment for medication-resistant Parkinson’s, the approach would need approval from the FDA. UVA’s new research is an important step in that process.
The Latest on: Ultrasound surgery
via Google News
The Latest on: Ultrasound surgery
- How a baby was saved by a rare fetal heart surgery | Children's Miracle Networkon August 14, 2019 at 2:06 am
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — During a routine ultrasound checkup, and at just 29 weeks pregnant with their son, Khae Saertern Angeles and her husband Bobby Angeles found out there was a problem. “They told us ...
- Remote control for brain cells: scientists use ultrasound waves to activate neuronson August 13, 2019 at 10:19 am
The ultrasound pulse remotely activates the cells ... location or time and treat these movement disorders without brain surgery. For this to work, the target region of the brain would need ...
- Japan's Former Empress Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Will Have Surgery in the Fallon August 10, 2019 at 9:52 am
A “tumorous mass” was detected by ultrasound scan in her left breast ... After reducing her daily activities, cataract surgery proceeded later that month following initial plans of ...
- Japan's Empress Emeritus Michiko faces surgery for breast canceron August 9, 2019 at 7:09 pm
An ultrasound examination during a check-up last ... The agency is making arrangements for surgery, which could be in or after September, with details to be announced later, he added.
- 'Heart of the program' - Clinical coordinator guides patients through surgeryon August 9, 2019 at 6:06 am
Rita Hawkins went to AdventHealth Gordon for an ultrasound on a Tuesday and the medical professionals there discovered a mass on her kidney. By Friday she had gone through her pre-operation process, ...
- Testing shows 3-year-old not a candidate for lifesaving heart surgery at Boston Children's Hospitalon August 8, 2019 at 2:18 pm
“It brought the risk level of the surgery up tremendously, and it's an already risky procedure,” Niccole Connally, Noah Connally's mother, said. His parents said Noah Connally was diagnosed with ...
- Same-day surgery clinic gives Utahns quick reliefon August 7, 2019 at 2:02 pm
This story is sponsored by University of Utah Health. When financial services manager Billi Henio visited her primary care doctor with abdominal pain, an ultrasound confirmed she needed surgery to ...
- Lifesaving heart surgery for 3-year-old boy set to put family in enormous debton August 7, 2019 at 3:13 am
His parents say he was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome during a 20-week ultrasound. The left side of his heart ... have come all the way to Boston for a potentially life-changing ...
- Ultrasound Breakthrough Could Eliminate Endoscopyon August 5, 2019 at 2:38 pm
Endoscopic imagers, or cameras on the end of catheter tubes or wires, are usually implanted through a medical procedure or surgery in order to reach the ... shows that they can use ultrasound to ...
via Bing News