Brain pacemaker as a treatment for Parkinson's

The quality of life of nearly 50 thousand Mexicans with Parkinson's disease could improve with the implementation of the brain pacemaker , a device that treats the disease from inside the brain.

The Mexican Institute of Social Security IMSS, currently has high technology, to place a tiny device in the deep area of ​​the brain, where the dopamine deficiency It affects people with Parkinson's. Dopamine is responsible for controlling the motor actions of the body within neurons.

Dr. Carlos Cuevas García, head of the Neurology Service of the Hospital of Specialties of the National Medical Center Siglo XXI, of the High Specialty Medical Unit explains that the brain stimulator is not suitable for all people suffering from this disease, which is why they carry out studies that analyze the ideal patients for the treatment.

Parkinson's disease does not yet have an established cause, however it has been pointed out that there is a certain genetic predisposition that causes the disease, in addition to other structures that may be part of the pathophysiology of Parkinson's. Other triggers are being sought, such as the use of drugs such as MPTP. It is also attributed to constant blows in the head, but no relationship has been found that fully supports it, says neurosurgeon Alfonso Arellano Reynoso.


Characteristics of suitable candidates for the brain stimulator

Dr. Arellano, attached to the National Institute of Neurosurgery and with a sub specialty in neurosurgery Stereotactic and functional by the University of Paris, indicates that the deep brain stimulator is a resource for all patients who have a clear diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and are ideal candidates for surgery patients who meet the following characteristics:

-To have good general conditions to support a surgery.

-Good brain condition so that the surgery is less risky (probability of bleeding, brain damage, infections, among others)

-You must have Parkinson's disease advanced enough to justify the expense and risk of surgery.

-You must not submit cognitive impairment , for example memory loss.

-Do not have emotional alterations, such as hobbies or depression.

"If a patient complies with the aforementioned characteristics, surgery is likely to be safe and effective," Dr. Arellano said, "it reduces symptoms by up to 50% and there are patients who recover their quality of life prior to the disease, including returning to work. , but theoretically brain stimulation deep it only slows the evolution of Parkinson's. "

He emphasizes that the implantation of these electrodes in certain points of the brain nuclei regulate the activity and improve the manifestations of the disease, however he recommends that it is only a viable resource if it is approached in a multidisciplinary , that is, through a detailed study of patients to identify ideal candidates and not take risks.

"Only with a multidisciplinary team of doctors as a specialist neurologist, a functional neurosurgeon, a neuropsychologist and a psychiatrist can be determined together whether it is safe to operate and if it is the best option for the patient, concluded the specialist.