Category - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Tell it like it is

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Plugging In To Brain Power

Lisa V looks at  External Stim v Internal Stim Today’s DBS is considered ‘non-invasive’- it is undo-able. Can’t say the same for ablative; that’s ‘invasive’ as it can’t be corrected. M J Fox had ablative DBS just about the time non-ablative came out in 1997. To ablate is to destroy. In this case, to burn-out. It actually has a remarkably similar result to introducing a small pulsating electrical current that today’s DBS offers. The trouble is the obvious; ablation is a one-way street. Once removed, it’s…er…gone. But that said, why has M J Fox done so well? Is quite possible that he had additional DBS with stimulus (stim) versus destruction in a different part of the basal ganglia system – new sites have been found since his initial op. I actually don’t know. So today’s DBS (founded by Prof. Alim-Louis Benabid) is reversible. That means electrodes, wires, IPGs – all can be taken out – no harm done – when the cure comes. In the interim however, new technologies are rearing their heads. Some rely on the fact that we have the mental retention of roadkill. They are to be considered with profound sobriety: MRgFUS: Magnetic Resonance-guided Focused Ultrasound (yup – the one John Grisham wrote about; absolutely fabulous in the right setting!). This entails wrapping your shaved head in a cold water shower-cap thing (but bigger) and using several targeted ultrasound beams to the pre-chosen site, to ablate and destroy. It’s explained better here. It works, if you like a permanent hole in the head. Oddly, Focused Ultrasound claim their procedure to be non-invasive on the grounds that there are no entry wounds. Not sure I agree…? tDCS: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation: deliver a small, constant electrical current to the brain via electrodes that are placed on the forehead. tRNS: Transcranial Random Noise Stimulation: pretty much the same as the tDCS devices, but offering AC (alternating current). rTMS: Transcranial magnetic stimulation: an insulated coil is placed over the targeted area over the brain which is then zapped repeatedly with pulses similar to an MRI. This is mainly used in treating depression. There are also ‘stim-to-go’ units coming to market so you can fry your brain in the comfort of your own home – lovely! The reason all these fads are being looked at is really more to do with the cost of DBS in the US markets; insurance, lobbying, politicking and all that nasty-ass stuff. When you consider that ECT (Electro-Convulsive Therapy) or Shock Treatment is considered a ‘non-invasive’ treatment, try sticking your wet finger in a socket!

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News The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Collaborate or be damned

Anyone who works in the medical field; specifically in the brain-business, will know of Neuroscientist Dr. Babak Kateb, Founding Chairman and CEO of the prestigious SBMT and Brain Mapping Foundation. Pat O’Brien of the acclaimed Business Rockstars introduced Dr. Babak…‘brain-mapping is what he does.’ Close enough, Lisa Vandeberg explains…

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News The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Sticky Subject of Alpha Synuclein

Lisa V tries to keep it simple and explains the deal with alpha-synuclein. Originally published online a couple of years ago when a-SYN was still new to the PD community, this article has been updated in the light of more recent research. All evidence from then and now points to this sticky substance being the cause of Parkinson’s.

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Tell It Like It Is

Lisa V is well into her second decade of living with PD – her husband’s… Hello beautiful young things! It’s been awhile I know, but life..being what it is and all… I have so much to tell you, show you. Why? Because you have YOPD, as does my hubby.

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