A pacemaker-like device for the brain appears to help people with a severe form of cerebral palsy, researchers report in the July issue of journal Lancet Neurology.

Researchers in France implanted deep brain stimulators in 13 people who have cerebral palsy with dystonia-choreoathetosis, a condition that affects about 10 percent of those with cerebral palsy and involves involuntary muscle contractions. The stimulators were designed to send electrical pulses to the brain in an effort to limit muscle contractions.

Over the course of a year, the stimulators appeared to help eight of the 13 study participants, researchers say. The other participants experienced no difference or were only slightly affected, some positively and some negatively.

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Furthermore, researchers say many of the study participants experienced improved mental health while using the stimulators, though five of them needed anti-anxiety medication.

Similar devices are already used to treat people with conditions ranging from Parkinson’s disease to severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

While the technique appears promising for those with cerebral palsy, further research is needed, reports Reuters. To read more click here.