Deep brain stimulator effective in Parkinson's patients - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Deep brain stimulator effective in Parkinson's patients

Posted: Updated:
  • HealthMore>>

  • FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    © FDA© FDA
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.More >>
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.More >>
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • 1 in 13 U.S. schoolkids takes psych meds

    1 in 13 U.S. schoolkids takes psych meds

    More than 7 percent of American schoolchildren are taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties, a new government report shows.More >>
    More than 7 percent of American schoolchildren are taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties, a new government report shows.More >>

Parkinson's disease can impact every aspect of a person's life as they battle the shaking, stiffness and difficulty moving. When medications are not enough or the side effects are too great, a deep brain stimulator can get the person back to comfortable living.

Walking without stiffness or swaying is a big step for 50-year-old Keith Royer of Carlyss, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2005.  "Somebody noticed my arm was stiff and then after while I would sit there and my arm would shake, just sitting there," he said.

Royer had to leave his job as a crane operator because of the uncontrollable muscle movements. Neurologist Dr. Reynard Odenheimer with Neuro Associates says that is common for those with the progressive disease of the central nervous system.  "It usually presents most typically with tremor and stiffness in walking problems," he said.

Medications can be effective in treating the symptoms of those with Parkinson's disease, but they can also carry unwanted side effects - anything from nausea, involuntary muscle movements, hallucinations and sleepiness.  "It makes you tired," said Royer, "at the end of the day you're just tired."

Royer was maxed out on his medication dosages and wiped out from the side effects. That is when Dr. Odenheimer recommended a deep brain stimulation implant.  "It delivers electrical stimulation to an area of the brain," he said, "and it's considered a non-destructive surgical procedure which can control the symptoms."

The small, pacemaker-like device sends electronic signals to the part of the brain controlling movement.  "I have a battery pack in my chest I0 can feel," said Royer, "other than that you don't really feel anything else, but it stops you from shaking."

For Royer, the improvement was instant.  "Right away, as soon they turn on the machine," he said.

It has been three years since Royer had the implant and he says it has given him the confidence to share his experience with other Parkinson's patients.  "If you're the type of person that really doesn't like taking pills, it's the best way to go because it really helps you out," he said, "you don't shake."

Deep brain stimulation is also effective for people with Tourette's, chronic pain and depression.

The National Parkinson Foundation Chapter of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas is raising funds to support Parkinson's programs here through the Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival April 12th-14th.  Click here for more information.

On research dollars for Parkinson's disease: just this week, President Obama unveiled a $100 million initiative to map the human brain for the first time.

The hope is that it can lead to new treatments for brain disorders like for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and epilepsy, while creating new technologies and jobs in science. It is still up to congress to approve the money for this project.

Copyright KPLC 2013.  All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow