What is Parkinson’s disease ?


Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease mainly affecting men aged over 50. It is characterized by trembling and muscle tone disorders. Nowadays, with the available treatment the symptoms can be decreased and the disease’s progression slowed down fairly efficiently.
Today it is possible to live with this disease for several years.

1.5% of the population aged over 65 affects
150,000 people in France
6.5 million people worldwide

Symptoms


The disease is mainly characterized by the three following symptoms :


Trembling while at rest

It appears when the person has his muscles completely relaxed and disappears during movement. It is slow and particularly affects the arms or hands. This shaking may remain intermittent for a long time (it appears or disappears at times) and is not systematic: 30% of people affected by the disease do not have this symptom.


Akinesia or bradykinesia

This is slowness in beginning and coordinating movements. It interferes with all the daily living activities:

  • Walking is slowed down, and the patient takes very small steps with his hands swinging naturally,
  • the person has difficulty getting up from a chair,
  • semi-automatic movements (acquired gestures, done without thinking) are laborious, writing is slower, the characters are more squashed together, the eyelids blink less often, the visage is fixed, with little expression, the voice is monotonous and weakened


Hypertonia

This is excessive tension of the muscles. It provokes a sensation of stiffness that may be painful. It may affect all the muscles of the body. However, it predominates along the spine, leading to a bending posture.

Our therapeutic offer


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an efficient surgical treatment for the three motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: trembling, stiffness and akinesia. It was developed at the beginning of 1990 by the French neurosurgeon and physician Alim-Louis Benabid and has already changed the lives of 150,000 patients.
The operation consists of implanting two electrodes in a specific area of the brain. Generally speaking, this is the sub-thalamic nucleus. The implantation areas are determined by a preoperative MRI. The electrodes are then linked up to a neurostimulator. This is implanted under the skin in the sub-clavicular or abdominal area. The neurostimulator then generates small electrical impulses. These impulses interrupt the signal from the messages responsible for the motor symptoms of the disease which are emitted by the brain.


The SCP avec ROSA®

ROSA® helps the surgeon to plan the surgery and position the stimulation electrodes with great precision. These electrodes will stimulate certain areas of the patient’s brain in order to attenuate the trembling or make it disappear altogether. Thanks to the robot arm’s dexterity and precision, the surgeon’s instrument guidance will be improved.

Benefits and risks


Benefits

  • Minimally invasive  Surgery: reduction in pain and bleeding,
  • Increased safety and accuracy,
  • A remarkable improvement in shaking, akinesia and hypertonia,
  • An improvement in the performance of daily activities and quality of life in general,
  • A reduction in doses of medication,
  • Made-to-measure technique adapted to the patient’s requirements.


Risks

The risks of DBS may be related to:

  • A surgical  operation : bleeding, headaches,
  • Side-effects,
  • Complications with the neurostimulator.


Consult your doctor for a complete list of the benefices and risks, precautions, clinical results and other important medical information related to deep brain stimulation.

Although scientists have made great progress in understanding Parkinson’s disease and how to treat it, so far there is no official cure. DBS therapy can greatly attenuate certain symptoms but will not cure the underlying disease.

The symptoms and speed of evolution in the patient’s condition can vary greatly from one patient to another. For many patients, the disease can take years to evolve.

Around 4 million people are affected by Parkinson’s disease worldwide. In France, it affects around 150,000 people and the number of new cases is estimated at around 14,000.

The risk of being affected by Parkinson’s disease increases with age.  The mean age when the disease is diagnosed is 55-60. In 10 % of cases, it begins before the age of 40.

Candidates for the operation must respond to the following specific criteria, namely :

 

  • They must have developed the disease for at least 5 years,
  • They must suffer from fluctuating « On-Off » effects (unforeseeable, transitory recurrences of the disease),
  • They must not present any severe cognitive or  psychiatric disorders,
  • They must have good sensitivity to L-DOPA (medicinal treatment),
  • They must have tried several types of medicinal treatment without good results,
  • They must have symptoms affecting their quality of life.