Deep Brain Stimulation & Ketamine: The Combination Alleviating Parkinson’s Disease
As we already know, Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that affects around half a million people in the US today, predominantly elderly people. The cause of Parkinson’s disease is due to loss of neurons in the area of the brain called substantia nigra. The most usual sign of Parkinson’s disease is a tremor, which starts in the hands and as the disease progresses it tends to get worse, thus making everyday activities such as walking or eating very difficult. Since there is no cure, the effort is focused on reducing the symptoms.
Fortunately, a treatment called deep brain stimulation (DBS) can help alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and slow its progression. A small device is placed inside your chest which sends electro pulses to your brain. These pulses block the nerve signals that cause the disease. DPS unit consists of 4 parts:
- Small wire or lead, which is placed on the part of the brain that causes symptoms.
- Pulse generator, that sends electrical signals to the lead
- Wire which connects the lead to the pulse generator
- A remote control which controls the process
Upon setting up the DBS system, an expert will adjust it in order to achieve the optimal results. The advantage of DBS treatment is that it is minimally invasive.
Trials from 2006 involved several people who had Parkinson’s disease, and the results were incredible. After the treatment, the participants experienced large improvements against tremors and in some, the tremors completely stopped.
Another treatment that gives very good results in treating Parkinson’s disease is ketamine. It was first used as an anesthetic and later as pain medication. Parkinson’s disease is usually treated with levodopa, which provides results, however at a cost. Patients are susceptible to dyskinesia, losing control of limb and body movement.
Dyskinesia ranges in intensity and the only way to eliminate the effects is to take out levodopa, but then the effects of Parkinson’s disease return. Certain research has demonstrated that ketamine can reduce or eliminate the effects of dyskinesia caused by levodopa.
There are additional trials being conducted, however, it has not been approved yet by the Food and Drug Administration. Ketamine has been proven in the treatment of various illnesses such as PTSD, anxiety, depression as well as Parkinson’s disease. Another positive side to ketamine is that it’s not especially addictive and it doesn’t cause respiratory depression.
The combination of Deep Brain Stimulation and ketamine treatment offers great potential in alleviating effects of Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Best and the expert team at the Neuroscience Center will provide you with the best possible therapy. The cumulative effect of several treatments will have a positive impact on the general condition of the person receiving the care.
If you’re interested in these treatments, feel free to schedule an appointment and contact the Neuroscience team: