Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a minimally invasive procedure, during which a medical device called a neurostimulator is implanted in the body to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and essential tremors.
Atlantic Neuroscience Institute at Overlook Medical Center’s Movement Disorders Program has a multidisciplinary team of neurology specialists and neurosurgeons who specialize in customized DBS treatments that suit individual needs.
From initial consultation through post-surgery follow-up care and device adjustments, we provide compassionate support and guidance.
If you’re a candidate for DBS, your neurosurgeon will place a lead with one or two wires and electrodes in the region of your brain that controls movement.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans prior to surgery help determine precise placement. A week later, your neurosurgeon will implant an internal pulse generator (IPG) in your chest and connect it to the lead via wires under your skin. The IPG, which is like a pacemaker, uses stimulation to correct the abnormal electrical firing responsible for movement disorders.
After a few weeks, a movement disorder specialist will program the IPG using Bluetooth technology to find the stimulation parameter that best controls your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your movement disorder, you may require 24/7 stimulation, or you may be able to turn off the device at night. IPG adjustments are performed on an outpatient basis; it may take two to six months to determine the optimal settings.
Who Qualifies for DBS?
You may be a candidate for DBS implantation if Parkinson’s disease, dystonia or essential tremors are severely impacting your quality of life and treatments with medications and physical rehabilitation have been unsuccessful. Doctors will determine if any other medical or cognitive conditions are present before prescribing DBS.
Christine was taking large doses of medication to control her Parkinson’s disease, but it was gradually losing its effectiveness. Overlook Medical Center’s movement disorders team recommended a leading-edge treatment called deep brain stimulation (DBS) to restore her quality of life. DBS is a surgically-implanted device, similar to a pacemaker, that controls the brain’s motor function with electrical impulses. Since the operation, Christine’s medication has been reduced and she once more enjoys outings with her husband free of tremors.
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