Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a well-established technique used to treat a variety of conditions in which electrical impulses are delivered to parts of the brain that regulate movement, pain, mood, weight or awakening.
Conditions Treated Through Deep Brain Stimulation
- Parkinson’s disease
- Essential tremor
Who is a Candidate for Deep Brain Stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation is used to treat a variety of neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and epilepsy. However, this treatment is reserved for people who aren’t able to get control of their symptoms with medications.
What Happens During Deep Brain Stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation requires a surgical procedure in which multiple elements are implanted. One element is a pacemaker-like device called a neurostimulator that is typically placed in the upper chest. It sends signals to electrodes, also known as leads, which are implanted in the brain.
For the brain surgery portion of the procedure, the patient is given local anesthetic and fitted with a special head frame to keep the head perfectly still.
Then magnetic resonance imaging is used to map the patient’s brain and identify where they’ll put the electrodes.
A few weeks after surgery the impulse generator is turned on, at which time the programing is initiated.
Deep brain stimulation is generally safe, although any type of surgery carries some risk of complications.
Patients receive a comprehensive work up by a multidisciplinary team and the benefit of full modality therapy options including acute rehabilitation for post-procedure fine motor programming. Our team includes:
- Movement disorders and other specialized neurologists who oversee the patient’s care
- Neurosurgeons who implant DBS hardware
- Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists who support patients following DBS surgery
Talk to a DBS Expert
If you think you might be a candidate for Deep Brain Stimulation, find a neurologist near you using our Find a Doctor tool.