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Surgeons explore new treatment for Tourette syndrome

antee any positive outcome, but I wanted them to take a chance on me. And I'm so grateful that they did."

Prior to brain surgery, physicians at University Hospitals Movement Disorders Center mapped out regions of Jeff's brain, through MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans and 3-D computer images. Their goal was to locate the safest and most direct route to reach the cells inside the thalamus portion of the brain, involved in controlling Jeff's movements. By placing electrodes around those cells to deliver continuous high-frequency electrical stimulation, control messages are rebalanced throughout the movement centers in the brain. The electrodes are connected from the brain through wires under the skin (beneath the scalp, neck and upper chest) to an implanted battery just beneath the collarbone. In Jeff's case, since both sides of his body were affected by the movement disorder, he has electrodes implanted on both sides of his brain and tiny battery packs implanted on each side of his chest.

The doctors at University Hospitals of Cleveland are careful to point out that not everyone with Tourette syndrome requires treatment. The first line of treatment is medication, which can be very effective. Surgical treatment is considered a last resort, and it is not clear how effective deep brain stimulation will ultimately prove for patients with this particular disorder.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia. "We've seen very positive responses in patients with Parkinson's disease. Studies of the DBS technique show that this stimulation can significantly reduce tremor and other symptoms in about three quarters of appropriately selected patients with Parkinson's." says Brian N. Maddux, MD, PhD, Jeff's neurologist at UHC and assistant professor at Case School of Medicine. "Patients with a different movement disorder called dysto
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Contact: Eileen Korey
Eileen.Korey@uhhs.com
216-844-3825
University Hospitals of Cleveland
1-Apr-2004


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