Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's

Turn it UP! Electrical noise as a therapy?

4 Comments

Guitar by ELC. Photograph by Zalamanda.

So, it turns out that our nervous system needs a certain amount of stimulus from electrical noise.

Recent research has highlighted the fact that signals in the nervous system need to contain just the right amount of background noise to work properly. As the brain ages, the levels of background noise decrease, and this decrease is believed to be significantly greater when dopamine nerve cells are lost, as is the case in Parkinson’s disease.

(from a news article on healthcanal.com)

… especially for us Parkies.

Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden, have studied the effect of “noise stimulation of the balance organs” via external electrodes on “hemiparkinsonian” rats. They conclude:

SVS [Stochastic vestibular stimulation] improves rod performance in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease, possibly by increasing nigral GABA release in a dopamine independent way. We propose that SVS could be useful for treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Ghazaleh Samoudi, Hans Nissbrandt, Mayank B. Dutia and Filip Bergquist, “Noisy Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation Promotes GABA Release in the Substantia Nigra and Improves Locomotion in Hemiparkinsonian Rats”

The Health Canal article adds that the researchers are to continue the research, in collaboration with NASA, with a pilot study of SVS applied to people with Parkinson’s.

“We are collaborating with a research group at NASA that has developed a portable stimulator unit for the balance organs. They use it to study the rehabilitation of astronauts who have lived in weightless conditions”, says Filip Bergquist.

Hmm. Maybe I should have illustrated this post with a rocket instead of a guitar. (The guitar is not really relevant, although it was the first thing I thought of when the phrase “electrical noise” was mooted.)

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4 thoughts on “Turn it UP! Electrical noise as a therapy?

  1. Golly; I would have expected it to be the other way round (noise unhelpful/bad)!
    Erm – are you really allowed to start an article with “so”?
    Sorry; stupid question – of course you are, you can do what you like! It’s your blog, and I like it.

    • It’s an informal beginning, but the blog is also fairly informal. Some people think that you shouldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction (“so” is a conjunction, along with words like “and”, but” and “because”). And in formal writing, that is correct (ooh – look what I just did! I started another sentence with a conjunction!). However, this rule only really coalesced during Victorian times; before that, people were quite happy with conjunctions at the beginning of sentences, albeit not too often. Personally, I’m not particularly fond of the hidebound conventions of the Victorian era, and so I will quite happily break this rule in informal writing. Of course, if I were writing a formal letter, or a technical manual*, I wouldn’t use the same informal style and those conjunctions would stay between clauses, where they are meant to be.

      * There are possible exceptions to this. House style would play a part, but I might consider an informal introduction, say.

      • Sorry, I meant to be very gently teasing. It really didn’t come out that way, but that’s what I meant. Fortunately I think you understood my intent but decided to answer my point anyway. At the risk of being off topic, I agree completely with what you say about the use of English; the objective is to communicate, so provided the language flows and the reader is not brought up with jarring mangles, who cares if a rule is broken? I split infinitives and start sentences with “And…” frequently. I write more carefully when formal, but still break the rules. It’s better that way.
        I’ll try and be better behaved next time.

      • I certainly did understand your intent, Paul, and don’t worry about it. Debates, digressions and disagreements are all allowed; life would be so much less interesting without such things.

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