New treatment welcome news for Parkinson's and stroke patients

July 11, 2012, University of Queensland

(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.

Explore further: Magnetic treatment improves stroke patients' ability to communicate

Related Stories

Magnetic treatment improves stroke patients' ability to communicate

November 15, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Magnetic stimulation of the brain could help improve language skills of stroke survivors with aphasia, according to research by The University of Queensland.

Anti-inflammatory chemical could prevent stroke damage

December 5, 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

Investigators eye new target for treating movement disorders

January 19, 2018
Blocking a nerve-cell receptor in part of the brain that coordinates movement could improve the treatment of Parkinson's disease, dyskinesia and other movement disorders, researchers at Vanderbilt University have reported.

Parkinson's disease 'jerking' side effect detected by algorithm

January 8, 2018
A mathematical algorithm that can reliably detect dyskinesia, the side effect from Parkinson's treatment that causes involuntary jerking movements and muscle spasms, could hold the key to improving treatment and for patients ...

New brainstem changes identified in Parkinson's disease

January 4, 2018
A pioneering study has found that patients with Parkinson's disease have more errors in the mitochondrial DNA within the brainstem, leading to increased cell death in that area.

Caffeine level in blood may help diagnose people with Parkinson's disease

January 3, 2018
Testing the level of caffeine in the blood may provide a simple way to aid the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the January 3, 2018, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the ...

Researchers shed light on why exercise slows progression of Parkinson's disease

December 22, 2017
While vigorous exercise on a treadmill has been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease in patients, the molecular reasons behind it have remained a mystery.

Robotic device improves balance and gait in Parkinson's disease patients

December 19, 2017
Some 50,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) every year. The American Institute of Neurology estimates there are one million people affected with this neurodegenerative disorder, with 60 years ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.