In some cases medications used to manage Parkinson’s disease symptoms begin to lose their effectiveness over time. When this happens, Gardner Family Center physicians can evaluate patients to determine whether they are suitable candidates for a surgical treatment called deep brain stimulation (DBS). This treatment involves implanting an electrode into the specific area of the brain that controls movement and then connecting it to a medical device, similar to a pacemaker, that is implanted under the skin below the collarbone.
The device delivers electrical stimulation to the precisely targeted area of the brain, typically resulting in reduced symptoms and improved function. Following implantation, the device is monitored and can be regulated according to the patient’s individual needs. After undergoing DBS, many patients experience significant improvements in dyskinesias and other symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease, and medication often can be reduced or discontinued.
See the Hope Story video about Dale Ankenmen, who underwent DBS surgery, on the right.
Grand Rounds Lecture
Safety and Tolerability of DBS in Early Parkinson’s Disease
Presented Oct. 15, 2008, at the UC College of Medicine
Guest lecturer David Charles, M.D.
Associate Professor and Vice Chairman of Neurology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center