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Parkinson's patients have new outlook on life thanks to technology

New technology is helping patients with advanced Parkinson's disease have a better quality of life. Researchers from the University of Florida and 14-other medical centers reported results on Deep Brain Stimulation or DBS yesterday. UF's Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration Administrative Director, Michael Okun says DBS is a big breakthrough for patients.

http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Okun1.mp3

136 patients who have had Parkinson's disease for at least 5 years participated in the study. All patients were implanted with a lead, but only a randomized group received stimulation following surgery.  A control group did not receive the stimulation until 3 months after. Every patient was followed for a year. Okun says researchers have applied deep brain stimulation to other disorders and hope to spread it even further.

http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Okun2.mp3

Okun says the overall goal is to provide a better, more meaningful life for patients.

http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Okun4.mp3

Okun adds researchers hope to improve deep brain stimulation through smart devices which could provide scheduled and responsive approaches.

Caitlin is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.