Thanks for posting about this interesting research Turnip. The team at Duke University have shown that electrical stimulation of a particular part of the spinal column in two animal models of Parkinson’s can restore mobility in the short term.
Although this research may have potential particularly as it is less invasive than other treatments like deep brain stimulation, the team found symptoms were improved in the short term but unfortunately stimulation was less effective in tackling symptoms over a longer period of time.
We need further research in animal models of Parkinson’s to fully understand how stimulation of the spine influences the symptoms of Parkinson’s and its impact in the long and short term. As yet, we also don’t have an indication of how electrical stimulation may affect non-motor symptoms.
It’s important to emphasise that promising results in animal models do not always translate into treatments that work in people. Until trials are carried out in people with Parkinson’s we won’t know for sure whether this promising new idea can be developed into a future treatment for the condition.
We will, of course, be keeping an eye on this area of research and highlight any new developments through our website and publications.
The research team