Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses. Or, the electrical impulses can affect certain cells and chemicals within the brain. The amount of stimulation in deep brain stimulation is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your upper chest. A wire that travels under your skin connects this device to the electrodes in your brain.
Deep brain stimulation is used to treat a number of neurological conditions, such as:
• Essential tremor
• Parkinson’s disease
Deep brain stimulation is also being studied as an experimental treatment for epilepsy, cluster headaches, Tourette syndrome, chronic pain and major depression. Many candidates for deep brain stimulation are participants in clinical trials. Most patients will need to be referred to a center that does this procedure on a regular basis and has experience in treating the types of conditions that can benefit from the therapy.
What to Expect
Deep brain stimulation is an established treatment for movement disorders, such as essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, and dystonia, and more recently, obsessive-compulsive disorder. This treatment is usually reserved for people who aren’t able to get control of their symptoms with medications.
After proper evaluation and referral for consideration of the therapy, if you undergo the procedure for deep brain stimulation your doctor will provide you details of the procedure. In short, you are fitted with a devise for the surgery to enable the surgeon to find with precision the target area and after access is gained with local anesthesia through the skull, the patient is able to respond to the stimulation once the leads are properly placed. The effects can be immediate as to movement and control issues.
With proper patient selection, psychological evaluation and trail the outcome of Deep Brain Stimulation can be life changing for patients with otherwise severe disability due to the indicated conditions. A permanent solution to the problem with the control of movement and/or tremor man mean a return to a more functional and satisfactory lifestyle.