A new study has found that the deep brain simulation method is safer to treat older patients aging 75 years of age and above with Parkinson’s disease.
According to the researchers, the risk of developing brain complications due to the use of stimulation devices is lower in older patients than the younger ones.
Deep brain simulation is normally conducted on the patients of Parkinson’s disease. Under the simulation method, electrodes are placed on some specific regions of the patients’ brain.
The researchers at the Duke University involved more than 1,750 Parkinson’s patients and analyzed their data. All the patients had undergone the device implantation between 2000 and 2009. Following analysis of the data, the researchers found that 7.5 percent of those patients developed at least one complication within 90 days of the surgery. The complications included bleeding, wound infections, pulmonary embolism and pneumonia.
The researchers found that older patients were more likely to develop pneumonia as compared to their younger counterparts.
Pneumonia is a common health problem among older people, the researchers noted.
“Parkinson’s is one of the most common movement disorders in older people. For many, movement disorders can be managed with medications. But for the elderly, tremors and side effects of medication, including involuntary muscle movements, are less controllable. In such a condition deep brain simulation could be quite beneficial, study author Dr. Nandan Lad, director of the Duke Neuro-Outcomes Lab in Durham, N.C., said in a news release.
The study was published on August 25 in the journal JAMA Neurology.