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Early Brain Therapy May Help Movement in Dystonia Patients - featured April 4, 2011

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[US News and World Report/HealthDay]

For people with the movement disorder dystonia, starting deep brain stimulation therapy early in the course of the disease provides better results, according to a new study.
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Dystonia is a potentially crippling disorder that causes muscles to contract, resulting in involuntary twisting of affected areas of the body. Deep brain stimulation is approved in the United States for certain treatment-resistant dystonias.

The study included 44 patients, aged 10 to 59 years, with generalized dystonia who received a deep brain stimulation device, which consists of electrical leads implanted in the brain and an electrical pulse generator placed near the collarbone. The device controls abnormal nerve signals that cause uncontrolled muscle contractions in people with the disorder.

After receiving the device, all of the patients experienced overall improvement in their ability to control muscles and movements (motor function). After one year, there were significant improvements in all ratings of affected body regions and functions such as speech, with the exception of three patients whose symptoms worsened somewhat between years one and three.

Read the Rest of this Article on US News and World Report/Healthday


Tags: News of the Week Dysonia Newsletter 8 April 2011