New treatment welcome news for Parkinson's and stroke patients

(Medical Xpress) -- New research developed by The University of Queensland is set to change the future treatment of speech problems associated with stroke and Parkinson's disease.

The new treatment is promising news for people with speech and language disorders that result from diseases within the .

Professor Bruce Murdoch of the Centre for Neurogenic Communication Disorders Research within UQ's School of Health and said preliminary trials of the new treatment were positive in the effective treatment of these speech and language disorders.

The research has found a , transcranial (TMS), can be used to stimulate the brain with a series of delivered by a stimulating coil held over selected areas of the head.

Professor Murdoch said TMS featured a coil, shaped like a figure eight, that was held over the patient's head to “switch on part of the brain” in Parkinson's sufferers and “switch off” a different part in stroke victims.

“The non-invasive technology is proving very effective in treating long-term sufferers of stroke and Parkinson's disease, where traditional therapy approaches have proven ineffective,” he said.

“The brain can heal itself much better than we thought it could.

“Based on these findings, TMS would appear to have the potential to revolutionise the treatment of brain-based speech and language disorders with improved outcomes and quality of life for sufferers of neurological disease.”

Professor Murdoch said the trials have recorded positive results within a week to two months after treatment, with patients still recording improvement 12 months' post-stimulation.

“When present, these disorders have a serious impact on quality of life, often leading to an inability to communicate with family and friends, social isolation, loss of vocational standing and financial hardship,” he said.

“Unfortunately speech and language disorders associated with conditions such as stroke and Parkinson's disease have proven difficult to treat, and consequently many sufferers of these conditions experience long-term impairment of their ability to speak and communicate with others.”

Professor Murdoch, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Hong Kong, is extending the research to include investigation of the use of TMS in the treatment of swallowing disorders post-, as well as its potential application in the treatment of brain-based voice problems.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New research reclaims the power of speech

Apr 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A UQ researcher has revealed a new treatment for a speech disorder that commonly affects those who have suffered a stroke or brain injury.

Unlocking the brain after stroke

Sep 23, 2008

University of Queensland research is set to unlock the regions of the brain central to successful language treatment following a stroke.

Anti-inflammatory chemical could prevent stroke damage

Dec 05, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Drugs that block inflammation in the brain could help patients who have a stroke or a brain haemorrhage, Manchester scientists said today (5 December) at the British Society for Immunology Congress in ...

Research holds out hope for stroke patients

May 21, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- People with a curious condition that causes them to apply make-up on only one side of their face, or ignore food on half of their plate, are playing a new role in understanding stroke recovery.

Recommended for you

How coffee protects against Parkinson's

Jul 11, 2014

A specific genetic variation discovered by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden protects against Parkinson's Disease – especially for those who drink a lot of coffee.

User comments