Deep Brain Stimulation
What is deep brain stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation could help you if you have a movement disorder or suffer from epilepsy.
The treatment involves having thin wire electrodes attached to specific parts of your brain. These connect to a pulse generator that your provider at Ventura Neuroscience Center implants under the skin of your upper chest.
The generator transmits electrical impulses along the electrodes and into your brain. These electrical impulses help to control the abnormal brain activity that occurs with movement disorders and seizures.
What conditions can benefit from deep brain stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation could be of benefit to you if you have conditions such as:
- Parkinson's disease - Parkinson's disease develops because some of the nerves in your brain deteriorate and eventually die. This results in a lack of the important neurotransmitter dopamine in your brain, resulting in tremors, loss of balance, muscle stiffness, and slowed movements.
- Dystonia - Dystonia causes uncontrollable muscle contractions. Focal dystonia affects only one part of your body, segmental dystonia affects several areas of the body close together, and general dystonia affects your whole body.
- Essential tremor - Essential tremor causes involuntary, rhythmic shaking that often develops in the hands but can occur in almost any part of your body.
- Epilepsy - Epilepsy is a condition in which you experience seizures due to a sudden surge of electrical activity in your brain.
Am I a suitable candidate for deep brain stimulation?
If you have one of the qualifying conditions for deep brain stimulation and your symptoms aren't getting better using other treatments, you could be a good candidate. You can also benefit from deep brain stimulation if you’re unable to tolerate medications that can help your condition.
Patients who qualify for deep brain stimulation have to undergo rigorous diagnostic testing at Ventura Neuroscience Center before receiving approval for the treatment.
What does the deep brain stimulation implantation procedure involve?
At the start of the implantation procedure, your provider places your head in a frame to hold it steady. They use MRI technology to locate the point where they need to insert the electrodes, then connect the wires to the generator.
The next stage is testing the device to see what difference it makes to your symptoms. If you respond well, your provider can implant the generator in your chest under general anesthesia. The wires they use travel under your skin and down to the generator.
Your provider programs the deep brain stimulation device to the optimal level, but you're able to switch it on and off.