Parkinson’s study shows that ear stimulation can alleviate symptoms

According to a study published in the journal Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, appropriately stimulating the ear can help to counteract or manage Parkinson’s symptoms.

The research, conducted by the University of Kent, was based on experiments performed using a particular portable headset manufactured by Scion Neurostim, a US company. This headset has been used by patients to perform stimulation therapy at home. The same patients continued normal dopamine therapy even during this special therapy.

The 46 participants in the Parkinson’s disease experiment, according to the researchers, reported having had benefits as a result of daily stimulations, performed twice a day for two months. First of all, they referred to greater freedom of movement and mobility in general. They also showed improvements in decision-making, attention, mood, sleep and memory.

According to David Wilkinson, professor at the dark psychology of Kent and lead author of the study, this research shows that the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be partially counteracted by adding to the pharmacological level traditional therapy a delicate stimulation of the organs of balance, essentially a non-invasive nerve stimulation of the ear.

“I am intrigued and I want to see where this technology could go,” says Ray Chaudhuri, a researcher at King’s College Hospital, suggesting that more far-reaching experiments with more patients are likely to be done in the future.