Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease
- 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?
Deep brain stimulation introduction
Deep brain stimulation (or DBS) is a way to inactivate parts of the brain that cause Parkinson's disease and its associated symptoms without purposefully destroying the brain. In deep brain stimulation, electrodes are placed in the thalamus (to treat essential tremor and multiple sclerosis) or in the globus pallidus (for Parkinson's disease).
In deep brain stimulation electrodes are connected by wires to a type of pacemaker device (called an impulse generator, or IPG) implanted under the skin of the chest, below the collarbone. Once activated, the device sends continuous electrical pulses to the target areas in the brain, blocking the impulses that cause tremors. This has the same effect as thalamotomy or pallidotomy surgeries without actually destroying parts of the brain.
The IPG can easily be programmed using a computer that sends radio signals to the device. Patients are given special magnets or other devices so they can externally turn the IPG on or off.
Depending on use, the stimulators may last three to five years. The IPG replacement procedure is relatively simple.
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