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Darke Engineering supports Parkinson’s UK Peterborough

On 10th December, Darke Engineering presented a cheque to Parkinson’s UK Peterborough as a donation to Ruth Brinkler-Long’s head shave fundraiser.

What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. 1 in 37 people alive today in the UK will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime and around 153,000 people are already living with Parkinson’s.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Surgery

Ruth is having deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery at Addenbrooke’s hospital in the coming weeks, which is an option for those who are living with Parkinson’s and their symptoms are no longer controlled well by medication. It is not a cure and it doesn’t stop Parkinson’s from progressing, but in many cases it’s given people living with Parkinson’s better control of their motor (movement) symptoms including tremor, speed of movements and involuntary movements.

A pulse generator (a device like a heart pacemaker) is placed under the skin around the chest or stomach area. It’s connected to 1 or 2 fine wires that are inserted into specific areas of the brain.

When the pulse generator is switched on, the electrodes deliver high-frequency stimulation to the targeted area. This stimulation changes some of the electrical signals in the brain that cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Currently, there are only around 22-25 DBS surgeries performed at Addenbrookes each year, and after many tests and appointments, Ruth has been selected. In mid-late December, Ruth will have the battery pack and the implant inserted into her brain and her chest and at the end of January, everything gets switched on. It can take around 6 months of making adjustments to the implant settings to ensure the balance is right.

It is an honour to continue to support the Parkinson’s UK Peterborough charity and at Darke Engineering, we salute you Ruth for being so brave and having the head shave fundraiser! We are wishing you all the best Ruth and already can’t wait to have a catch up in the new year.

Ruth commented:

“There is very limited opportunity to have this surgery, and after more than a year of tests I feel so lucky to have been selected to have it. I needed to shave my head for the surgery, so I thought what a great opportunity to have a fundraiser to donate to the charity, so that it fuels the research to hopefully make this surgery more widely available, giving others who are living with Parkinson’s the opportunity to have an improved quality of life.

Thank you so much to Darke Engineering for your continued support, without generous people and businesses like you I would have never had the chance to do this.”

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