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Ear stimulation offers relief for Parkinson's

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

caloric vestibular stimulation

Story at-a-glance -

  • A study by researchers at the University of Kent in the U.K. found a noninvasive form of ear canal stimulation may improve Parkinson’s symptoms
  • In 2016, a case study was published using caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS), a form of neuromodulation, in a 70-year-old man with Parkinson’s disease
  • After using the device twice a day for 20-minute sessions over a period of three months, the man had a 50% reduction in both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease
  • In the featured study, those who received the active CVS treatment had greater reductions in motor and non-motor symptoms, including improved movement and mobility, than those in the placebo group
  • The treatment also helped the participants carry out everyday activities and led to improvements in decision-making, memory, mood and sleep
  • The improvements in symptoms were still apparent five weeks after the end of active treatment, but they started to recede by 24 weeks’ follow-up

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement and balance problems. There is no known cure for the progressive disease, and drug treatments — often offered as a first-line treatment — do not slow the underlying neurodegeneration that characterizes the condition.

Parkinson's symptoms often go untreated or are poorly treated, leading to significant negative effects on patients' quality of life. As such, a study by researchers at the University of Kent in the U.K., which found a noninvasive form of ear canal stimulation may improve Parkinson's symptoms, is raising hopes for the stimulation as an effective treatment.

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