Patients with Parkinson's disease who undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS) -- a treatment in which a pacemaker-like device sends pulses to electrodes implanted in the brain -- can expect stable improvement in muscle symptoms for at least three years, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs study. An abstract of the study is available in the June 12, 2012 edition of the journal Neurology. Previous results from the study appeared in 2009 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010. The new report is based on 36 months of follow-up on 159 patients from the original group. It extends the previous findings: DBS produced marked improvements in motor (movement-related) function. The gains lasted over three years and did not differ by brain site. VA cares for some 40,000 Veterans with the condition.
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