New Parkinson’s Device by Iranian Scientists

New Parkinson’s Device by Iranian Scientists New Parkinson’s Device by Iranian Scientists

The first phase of an electrode design for Deep Brain Stimulations (DBS) in rat models has shown promising results in controlling motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the brain.Early in the course of the disease, symptoms are mainly movement-related; these include shaking, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait.

Shallow and deep brain stimulation procedures are common methods in treatment of neurological disorders. “DBS, a commonly used method in major depression and cognitive disorders is performed in two hospitals in Tehran, although it is a costly procedure,” Dr. Mohammadtaghi Joghataie, chief of Cellular and Molecular Research Center at Iran University of Medical Sciences said, ISNA reports.

DBS technology development is a joint project between the research center and Tehran University (TU), defined by the Cognitive Sciences and Technologies Council with the objective of manufacturing medical equipment domestically. The first stage of the project involved successful production of specialized electrode in collaboration with the TU’s Faculty of Engineering.

The results revealed that implanted electrodes in rats with Parkinson’s disease decreased the frequency and intensity of uncontrollable tremors which occur more prominently in advanced stages. “Once the procedure is validated in either monkeys or dogs we can start clinical trials,” Joghataie added.

 Technical Aspects

Scientists of the TU Engineering Faculty have also designed and produced the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device, inserted in the chest to generate high frequency and variable electronic pulses. “With electrodes implanted in midbrain areas, the ICD can balance the dopaminergic discharges,” said Farhad Bozorgi, a faculty member.

In the first phase of the experiment, electrodes were inserted in rat’s brain with Parkinson’s disease, and connected to a pulse generator. The pre and post-test comparisons demonstrated a significant improvement in motor movements and depressive symptoms of the rat.

Previously, lobotomy of the disrupted brain regions was the final solution to grave symptoms of Parkinson’s disease; however, because of the severe side effects this procedure is not in use anymore. DBS is not a determinant treatment; once the pulse generator is disconnected, the symptoms relapse.