Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an option for some patients with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, such as essential tremor. DBS may help patients who are having severe side-effects from their medications or are having fluctuations in their symptoms related to their medications. While deep brain stimulation does not cure or slow down the disease, it can be an effective treatment that greatly improves quality of life.
Our Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center works with patients to help them find some relief from their symptoms without surgery. However, there are times when these treatments no longer provide enough relief or the side-effects are too severe. In these situations, deep brain stimulation may help.
DBS targets areas of the brain that cause symptoms like:
- Walking problems
- Uncontrollable movements
- Slow movement
During the surgery, thin wires are inserted into the brain and implant neurostimulators in order to send electrical impulses to the brain. These impulses interrupt the abnormal rhythms in the brain that are causing the person’s debilitating symptoms.
Each person’s needs are different and symptoms may change over time. DBS allows the care team to adjust the patient’s electrical impulses when needed.