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A Pacemaker for Parkinsons

<br>How a pacemaker for the brain is helping folks with a devastating disease.

ONE MILLION AMERICANS ARE LIVING WITH PARKINSON'S.
ONCE THE DISEASE PROGRESSES, EVEN MEDICATION CAN'T STOP ITS MOST NOTICEABLE AND DEBILITATING SYMPTOM. 
TONIGHT'S HEALTHCAST SHOWS US HOW A BRAIN IMPLANT THAT PATIENTS HELP DOCTORS PUT IN...IS OFFERING RELIEF. 
THESE ARE THE TELL-TALE SIGNS OF PARKINSON'S. FOR ERNEST AND HIS WIFE, THE SHAKING WAS THE FIRST PIECE OF A PUZZLE THAT LED TO HIS PARKINSON'S DIAGNOSIS.
"It just started with a tremor."
U-C-L-A NEUROSUGEON ANTONIO DE SALLES SAYS A LACK OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS CAUSES THE TREMORS.
"The cells are dying in a specific area of the brain."
 MEDICATION HELPS, BUT...
"Too much of the medication will cause tremors."
TOO LITTLE CAUSES PARALYSIS.  ERNEST OPTED FOR DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION SURGERY. USING CAT SCANS AND M-R-I, DOCTORS GUIDE ELECTRODES INTO THE BRAIN.
DURING SURGERY, ERNEST WAS ACTUALLY AWAKE, HELPING GUIDE SURGEONS TO THE RIGHT SPOT.
"I had to move my hands, move my feet."
THE ELECTRODES BECOME A PACEMAKER FOR THE BRAIN-ELECTRICAL IMPULSES CORRECT ABNORMAL CELL FUNCTION. "It's high frequency electricity coming to a specific area of the brain that's out of control."
 THE PACEMAKER IS THEN PERMANENTLY PLACED INTO THE PATIENTS' CHEST. IT WORKED FOR ERNEST.
"He definitely moves better and speaks better."
"I remember thinking hallelujah."
 "It really has helped."
 NOW HE'S REGAINED CONTROL OF HIS MOVEMENTS, HIS SPEECH AND HIS LIFE.
THE BATTERIES IN THE PACEMAKER NEED TO BE REPLACED EVERY FOUR TO SIX YEARS. 
THERE IS A RISK DURING THE OPERATION OF BLEEDING IN THE BRAIN, WHICH COULD CAUSE STROKE-LIKE SYMPTOMS. BUT DOCTOR DE SALLES SAYS IT'S EXTREMELY RARE.
HE TELLS US OF THE 500 SURGERIES HE'S PERFORMED IT'S HAPPENED IN LESS THAN HALF OF ONE PERCENT OF HIS PATIENTS.
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