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Deep Brain Stimulation

Some patients are unable to obtain sufficient relief through medications or physical measures. For these individuals, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is a way out of this difficulty. While not a cure, it can set the clock back on the severity of the disease. Some patients can reduce medication doses thereby reducing the side effects. Tremor, involuntary movements (called dyskinesias) or muscle rigidity are symptoms that improve the most. Patients show a longer duration of action of medications following surgery.

The surgery is a three-part process that involves placing an electrode in the brain connected to a pacemaker device placed under the skin in the chest. The first part maps the brain using MRI techniques. To further improve the accuracy of the electrode placement, the team will use a brain mapping technique called microelectrode recording. The third part involves placing the pacemaker and connecting it to the brain electrode. Patients typically return home 2-3 days after surgery, although some may require a brief period of inpatient rehabilitation.

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