LIVEWELL MINUTE: Deep Brain Stimulation
One point five million Americans are affected by Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms of this disease can be debilitating. The main symptoms are tremors, stiffness and slowness of movement. Deep brain stimulation is a successful tool in treating patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Lynn Struck, MD, Neurologist at UnityPoint Health says, “Deep brain stimulation improves Parkinson’s disease. The exact mechanism of how this occurs is unknown.”
Deep brain stimulation – or DBS – is a surgical treatment option for patients with Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor, dystonia and tremors due to other conditions. During the procedure, electrodes are implanted within the brain to deliver electrical impulses. The stimulation offers patients relief from tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement and stiffness. The electrode produces a pulse which blocks the abnormal activity causing the patient’s symptoms.
Dr. Struck tells us that, “Although most patients still need to take medication after undergoing deep brain stimulation, many patients experience considerable reduction of their symptoms and are able to reduce their medications. I would highly recommend this procedure to patients who have failed medical treatment.”