A study of cerebral palsy patients published in 2009 involved individuals with a rare form of cerebral palsy who had devices implanted in their brain. These devices are supposed to help these individuals gain movement.
All thirteen individuals involved in the study had severe forms of cerebral palsy which involved dystonia-choreoathetosis. About ten percent of cerebral palsy victims are associated with this disorder.
After one year of treatment, eight of the thirteen participants had significant improvement in movement. Two patients had little improvement and three others either had no improvement or their symptoms worsened slightly. Generally, these treatments also associated patients with fewer symptoms of pain and depression. However, five patients needed treatment with anti-anxiety drugs.
Although the findings with this study are promising, study officials warn to approach the findings with caution. The study was conducted with a small sample size and only been conducted for a year.
After further tests and studies, if the deep brain stimulation continues to effectively treat patients, this will be a very promising sign. There are no effective treatments for dystonia-choreoathetosis; however deep brain stimulation shows promise in improving movement for people in this condition.