- Deep brain stimulation introduction
- How does deep brain stimulation work?
- How is deep brain stimulation performed?
- What is subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation?
- What are the advantages of deep brain stimulation?
- How effective is deep brain stimulation?
- What kinds of movement problems are helped by deep brain stimulation?
- What are the risks of deep brain stimulation?
- Is deep brain stimulation experimental?
- Who should consider deep brain stimulation?
- Is age a factor in deep brain stimulation?
- Where should deep brain stimulation be performed?
- Will I be asleep during the deep brain stimulation procedure?
- What should I expect after deep brain stimulation?
- When will I be able to go home after the deep brain stimulation procedure?
- How should I care for the surgical area once I am home?
- Will I have to limit activity following deep brain stimulation surgery?
- Post surgery warning
- Can I use electrical devices?
What Kinds of Movement Problems Are Helped by Deep Brain Stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus is effective for all major symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremor, slowness of movement, rigidity, and problems with walking and balance. People bothered by involuntary movements such as dyskinesia often experience a marked reduction of these involuntary movements primarily because they are able to reduce their medications following surgery.
Deep brain stimulation of the globus pallidus is effective for a wide range of Parkinson's symptoms. It seems to be somewhat less effective for problems with walking and balance. Also, patients remain on the same average dose of medications following surgery.
Deep brain stimulation of the thalamus is only effective for tremor and rigidity. Consequently, deep brain stimulation of the thalamus is usually not performed for patients with Parkinson's disease.
What Are the Risks of Deep Brain Stimulation?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. There is a 2%-3% risk of a serious and permanent complication such as paralysis, changes in thinking, memory and personality, seizures, and infection. Talk to your doctor to see if these risks apply to you.
Is Deep Brain Stimulation Experimental
No. Deep brain stimulation is not experimental. DBS of the thalamus was approved by the FDA for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and essential tremor in 1997. But, since stimulation of the thalamus is only effective for treating tremor and rigidity symptoms, it is not recommended for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. This is because even if a person currently only has tremor or rigidity, he or she will eventually develop other symptoms that would only be helped by stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus or globus pallidus. Therefore, stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus or globus pallidus is recommended.