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Researchers developed new technique to cancel out Parkinson tremors

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New technique to cancel out Parkinson tremors

Researchers at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital have developed a new therapy that improves symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson tremors may be cancelled out using a technique called transcranial alternating current stimulation  or TACS. Although it is present in only about 30% of patients, tremor in Parkinson’s disease is one of the major symptoms and it is one of the factors that affect quality of life significantly. Parkinson tremor is different from that which occurs in lesions of the cerebellum (that is intentional tremor), as it is a resting tremor that is emphasised during emotions,  diminishes during voluntary movements and disappears during sleep.

The discovery of a new technique to improve Parkinson tremor in patients is a significant advance in treating this debilitating disease because tremor is one of the symptoms that does not respond so well to medication. It should be noted however that deep brain stimulation can help control these symptoms, but it is an invasive procedure that involves placing an electrode deep in the brain through which electrical impulses are delivered. It should be noted that deep brain stimulation is applied only to certain patients according to age, health status, mental status, etc.. In addition, deep brain stimulation is a costly procedure that involves several risks and may lead to serious side effects such as bleeding, various neurological deficits, etc..

Parkinson Tremors

Parkinson Tremors

The new technique developed by researchers at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, unlike deep brain stimulation, does not involve so many risks as it consists of placing electrode pads outside the patient’s head. Transcranial alternating current stimulation, or TACS, refers to placing two electrodes, one on the neck and one on the head of the patient, near the motor cortex. Motor cortex is a brain region with a role in controlling voluntary movements. Through these electrodes is sent alternating current stimulation in order to suppress Parkinson tremor. It was found that half the patients had a  reduction in resting tremors using this technique.

Although it is a preliminary study conducted on a sample of 15 patients with Parkinson’s disease, Professor Peter Brown of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, who led the study, says they are optimistic about this research and that they hope this will lead to a successful therapy without medical risks. He also said that in the future may be necessary that the electrodes to be placed under the skin, but it will still remain a minimally invasive procedure.