A Parkinson's disease patient had his symptoms reversed by a tiny device implanted into his brain. This is the first time that such a device has been implanted in the brain to control Parkinson's, a BBC report said.
The treatment was given to Tony Howells at a hospital in Bristol as part of the trial. The tiny deep brain stimulation (DBS) device is meant to override abnormal brain-cell firing patterns caused by Parkinson's, the BBC report further said.
The battery-powered device is implanted into the skull and delivers electrical impulses to targeted areas of the brain. The new surgical procedure just takes three hours, about half the time it used to.
Twenty-five patients have been selected for the trial that is expected to conclude next year. Mr Howells, meanwhile, told the BBC that the impact of the device is “amazing”.
He had the device implanted in 2019. Mr Howells said before the surgery, he tried to go for a Boxing Day walk with his wife but could only get 200 yards (182 metres) from the car.
“Then after the operation, which was 12 months later, I went on Boxing Day again and we went for 2.5 miles (4 km) and we could've gone further,” he told the BBC. “It was amazing.”
Currently, there is no treatment available for Parkinson's disease, which leads to progressive damage of the brain over the years.
According to National Institute of Aging of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Parkinson's causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time.
As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. They may also have mental and behavioural changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue.
Most people develop symptoms when they are over 50 but about one in 20 experience them when they are under 40.