Deep Brain Stimulators
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) was F.D.A. approved and introduced for use in the United States in 1998.
What is Deep Brain Stimulation?
DBS is a surgical procedure used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms – the most commonly debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and walking problems.
DBS uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator – similar to a heart pacemaker and approximately the size of a stopwatch – to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause tremor and Parkinson symptoms.
How does it work?
The DBS system consists of three components: the lead, the extension, and the neurostimulator. The lead (also called an electrode) is a thin, insulated wire and is inserted through a small opening in the skull and implanted in the brain. The tip of the electrode is positioned within the targeted area of the brain. Implanting these devices takes a great deal of preparation and planning but very little surgery. The surgery involves just a few small incisions and as a result, people tend to heal from it very well.
Will it work for me?
This is largely a personal decision. A typical candidate is one whose symptoms are worsening and required increased medication, either in terms of dose, frequency or the number of medications taken. Our guidance is typically that the risk of doing something ought to be less than doing nothing. For most patients, they know when the time is right for them and proceed with confidence. These are the patients who have outstanding results.