The largest study of its kind finds that deep brain stimulation improves both physical function and quality of life after six months in patients with Parkinson's disease.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) performed better than currently available drug treatments, but it did carry some risks, including one death, according to a study in the Jan. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"This basically corroborates what has largely emerged over the last decade from literature and clinical experience showing pretty dramatically the potential benefit of DBS for Parkinson's," said Dr. Fred Marshall, medical director of the deep brain stimulation program at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in New York.
Despite abundant clinical experience, there have been few controlled trials on the topic, added colleague Dr. Irene Richard, an associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "This is corroborative, that surgery is helpful, but it is associated with more risk."
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