Parkinson’s brain surgery works in older patients, too

New findings expand benefits of electrode-implant surgery to those over age 70 and suggest that many side effects are short-term

By Nathan Seppa, 17:05 PM January 6, 2009

Brain surgeon Kenneth Follett had never received thank-you cards from his patients after performing an operation — until he started putting electrodes in their brains.

Follett, who holds positions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Omaha, is among a select group of surgeons who over the past decade have been treating Parkinson’s disease by installing two tiny electrodes in a patient’s brain.

The change these devices induce can be astonishin...

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