Deep Brain Stimulation

What Is DBS Therapy?

DBS Therapy is a treatment for movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including shaking, stiffness, or difficulty moving. DBS Therapy gives you more relief without giving you more medicine.

DBS is approved for movement disorders related to Parkinson’s Disease, Essential Tremor and dystonia. We work in conjunction with a Fellowship trained Movement Disorders Neurologist to determine appropriate patient eligibility. DBS works very well for those patients with Essential Tremor where medications are no longer working well and the tremor is interfering in the patient’s daily activities or hobbies. For Parkinson’s Disease patients, this surgery is considered for patients with significant tremor, slowed movement or dyskinesias on their current medications. If a patient has good control of their PD symptoms on medication (ON time), but then their symptoms come back quickly when the medication wears off (OFF time), then DBS should be seriously considered.

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

How DBS Works

During DBS Therapy, a small, pacemaker-like device sends electronic signals to an area in the brain that controls movement. These signals block some of the brain messages that cause annoying and disabling motor symptoms.

The device is placed under the skin in the chest (not in the brain). Very thin wires connect the device to your brain to enable the signals to reach the source of your symptoms.

What to Expect During Therapy

Following the procedure, your doctor adjusts the settings to optimize the therapy for you. Getting the initial settings right for you may take several sessions. Over time, your settings are then adjusted as your symptoms change.

Most people don’t feel the stimulation at all as it reduces their symptoms. Some people may feel a brief tingling when the stimulation is first tuned on.

A few weeks after the procedure, you can go back to your normal daily activities. Always following your doctor’s instructions, you can gradually try activities that had become difficult for you.

>Back to top

Why Consider DBS Therapy Now?

The medicines used to treat Parkinson's disease are normally very effective for treating symptoms at first. Over time, many people find that these medicines do not work as well as they are used to, and Parkinson's symptoms are affecting their quality of life. When this happens, their doctors make changes to their therapy. At the time medicines stop working as well, one option that may be right for you is called DBS Therapy.

>Back to top

How DBS Helps

DBS Therapy for Parkinson's has been approved by the FDA to treat shaking, stiffness, or difficulty moving. DBS Therapy has helped people continue working, care for their families, return to favorite activities, and experience the joy of doing the simplest things in life again.

>Back to top

Clinical evidence has shown that when added to medication DBS:

Provides 5 additional hours of good movement control each day compared to medication alone.

Improves quality of life more than medications alone and makes routine daily activities easier.

Significantly reduces medication use, which may mean fewer medication-related side effects.

The Right Time for DBS

As you know, the symptoms of Parkinson's get worse over time. During the course of the disease, there is a period when DBS Therapy can do the most good to help control your symptoms. The right time for DBS is when your body stops responding to medication as well as it used to, but before your medicine stops working completely. If you wait too long, DBS Therapy will not be an option.

So don't think of DBS as something for later, but as something to explore now.

>Back to top

Time to Talk to Your Doctor

If you are seeing signs that your medication is losing effectiveness, refuse to surrender to Parkinson's. Don't just let Parkinson's take time away from you. Ask your doctor or a specialist now if DBS Therapy may be right for you. Contact Us Today! (919) 681-4986

If you are at the point when medication alone is still working well for you, ask your doctor about DBS Therapy at your next appointment. Know your options for the road ahead. By not waiting until the last minute, you'll be prepared to make a decision whenever you need to.

>Back to top

Patient Stories

A New Outlook on Life

For Robert Shipp, deep brain stimulation brings self-sufficiency and an end to embarrassment

“I was unable to write my name for probably seven or eight years,” Robert Shipp recalls. With handwriting “like an EKG” thanks to severe tremors, he relied on his wife or daughter to write things for him. At work, he used a rubber stamp to sign his name.

“It was embarrassing,” he says. Eating out meant having to ask for his drink with a lid and straw. “I was unable to use a knife and fork. I only ate things I could eat with a spoon, because the shaking was so bad.”


Never Give Up

Posted May 8th, 2019

Patient Story Deep Brain StimulationWith deep brain stimulation, Scott Caslin finds pain relief and a positive outlook

Scott Caslin was only nine years old when he learned he had dystonia. By the time he was 13, the disease—a neurological movement disorder syndrome characterized by muscle contractions that result in twisting and abnormal fixed postures—had left him bedridden and in constant pain.




Video of Dr. Lad talking about Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

Related Articles:

Awake versus Asleep Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery: Technical Considerations and Critical Review of the Literature

©Nandan Lad, M.D., PH.D - All Rights Reserved