[to top of second column]
It didn't work for everyone. A few surgery patients (about 3 percent) got worse.
"You don't want to underestimate or overestimate the risks," said Weaver, a specialist in chronic care. "It still is an individual decision between a patient and a physician."
Surgery to implant the electrodes and pacemaker costs about $60,000 and is covered by Medicare and some insurance companies. Medications can cost $5,000 a year. After surgery, patients were able to cut their medications by 23 percent on average.
One-fourth of the people in the study were 70 and older. That age group has been excluded from many prior studies of DBS. In the new study, the older surgery patients were able to control their movements better, but younger ones benefited even more.
Those findings will help older patients make decisions about treatment, said Dr. Michael Okun of the University of Florida, medical director of the National Parkinson Foundation. The information on falls and other problems will help doctors give better advice, he said.
"This study with its careful methodology will help in setting a higher bar for tracking adverse events," said Okun, who was not involved in the study.
Four of the study's 22 co-authors reported financial ties to companies that make devices or drugs for Parkinson's. The lead author said she has no such ties.
The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health. Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc., maker of the devices purchased for the study, provided the money for collecting data.
In about six months, more results are expected from the study, which also compared two brain regions for electrode placement.
On the Net:
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Recent articles
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor