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Research Snapshot: A new approach to programming deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s

About 100,000 people worldwide undergo deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and tremor  when traditional medications or treatments fail to provide symptom improvement or relief. It is also being explored as a treatment for other neurological and psychiatric disorders for which medical therapy has not been effective in alleviating symptoms.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves stimulating portions of the brain through a small implanted device. After the device is implanted, a clinician programs the device to target each patient’s individual symptoms. They establish settings that determine how much stimulation is needed to improve symptoms, a process called programming.

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In the News: University of Minnesota doctor discusses America’s sleep problems

Oftentimes when people think of the consequences of poor sleep they think crabbiness and irritability. While those are two outcomes of poor sleep, there are many more serious consequences that can occur.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 41,000 Americans are injured or killed in car crashes caused by drowsy drivers. The amount is second to alcohol-related accidents. As stated in the same report, roughly 62 percent of Americans report having trouble falling asleep more than a few nights per week.

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Health Talk recommends: Sleepless in America

In previous posts, Health Talk has detailed the importance of sleep and its many health benefits. A new television series on the National Geographic Channel called “Sleepless in America” along with The Public Good Projects and National Institutes of Health highlights the need for sleep along with some of the “shocking life-threatening consequences of its absence.”

Watch this trailer for more.

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U of M, St. Jude Medical partner to tackle Parkinson’s disease, depression

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Inquiry.

University of Minnesota researchers and St. Jude Medical are collaborating to treat some of the most challenging and debilitating movement and neuropsychiatric disorders using deep brain stimulation (DBS), a treatment which uses electrical current to directly stimulate parts of the brain. The project is part of MnDRIVE (Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy), a $36 million biennial investment by the state that aims to solve grand challenges in areas that align with Minnesota’s industries, including discoveries and treatments for brain conditions.

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U of M expert: U.S. still has work to do to reduce hospital readmissions post stroke

There have been numerous advances in acute stroke care and in preventive therapies after stroke. Yet despite these improvements, a recent University of Minnesota study found there is still room for improvement in reducing the rate of stroke patients re-admitted to the hospital.

In fact, the study discovered that one year after a stroke, an astounding 49 percent of patients end up back in the hospital with an acute illness. Worse, 24 percent of stroke patients pass away within a year of their stroke. The statistics paint a portrait of a nation that can, and should, do better.

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How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?

The answer to the question, “How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?” has been the proverbial unicorn or Bigfoot for many parents, probably for many centuries: easy to imagine but much harder to find.

And while parents search for the magic formula to get their little bundles of joy to finally sleep through the night, Health Talk is here to offer five tips and suggestions from our resident sleep expert, Michael Howell, M.D.

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