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Patients take control with chargeable implants

Swiss patients with degenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease have been fitted for the first time with brain stimulators that they can recharge on their own.

This content was published on December 8, 2008 - 17:44

The Activa RC implant, made in Switzerland by the United States firm Medtronic, gives patients more control over abnormal movement symptoms that result from degenerative disorders of the central nervous system.

Neurosurgeons carried out procedures on the first two Swiss patients, aged 42 and 37, in November and December, the Bern University Hospital said on Monday.

It is one of the first hospitals in the world to have carried out the operation.

The devices are implanted in the thorax, with electrodes delivering corrective electrical impulses to the brain.

Previously, the stimulators had to be replaced surgically every three to four years, but can now be recharged by the patient.

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