Deep Brain Stimulation is an effective treatment for involuntary movements associated with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, tremors, problems with movement and balance, as well as rigidity.
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure wherein a hair-thin electrode is implanted in the area of the brain that is particularly responsible for abnormal movement. The electrode is connected to a pulse generator that is implanted just beneath the skin below the collarbone. The generator sends controlled mild electrical pulses through the electrodes to the brain to stimulate and modify the brain’s electrical signals to help stop, reduce or control abnormal movements.
The procedure does not destroy any brain tissue, and stimulation is adjustable and reversible. It can also be stopped anytime by switching off the device that supplies the electrical impulses. New technology allows patients to use a remote control to adjust the level of stimulation needed for better symptom relief and for least amount of side effects.
- Symptoms are reduced by 40-60%
- Demonstrable increase in patient’s independence
- Improved quality of life for patients
Deep brain stimulation may be used to relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, especially essential tremor, when they cannot be controlled with medicine. It is considered safer, more effective and less destructive to brain tissues than other surgical methods. Deep brain stimulation of the thalamus is done to treat both disabling tremor caused by Parkinson’s disease, while stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus and the globus pallidus are done to help control a wider range of symptoms.
Deep brain stimulation may also be used to treat severe tremor related to multiple sclerosis (MS). Deep brain stimulation is usually the last resort after all other treatment options have been tried without any success. People with severe tremor are ideal candidates for deep brain stimulation. Depending on your diagnosis, deep brain stimulation can be performed while you are awake or asleep or sedated.
- Mental and physical exercises
- Surgery and deep brain stimulation
- Assistive devices