How Does Deep Brain Stimulation Help Parkinson’s Patients?

doctor explaining to patient

While no cure has yet been discovered for Parkinson’s disease, your local hospital may offer various surgical treatments to help manage the symptoms. Usually, physicians recommend trying medications first because of the risks involved with any type of surgery. However, if your symptoms are not well managed with medications, you might consider exploring surgical treatments at your local hospital. One of those treatments could be deep brain stimulation.

How It Works

During this procedure, electrodes are placed in the brain, along with various other components. These devices transmit electrical impulses continuously to certain key areas of the brain involved with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These electrical impulses can prevent you from experiencing symptoms such as muscle tremors. The device is similar to a pacemaker, which is commonly used to keep the heart functioning properly.

What the Benefits Are

Deep brain stimulation offers numerous benefits over other surgical techniques for Parkinson’s disease. These include procedures such as thalamotomy and pallidotomy, both of which involve destroying parts of the brain that play a role in the development of Parkinson’s symptoms. With deep brain stimulation, these areas of the brain are preserved and the procedure is potentially reversible. This type of treatment is also adjustable; you might return to your local hospital to have a neurologist customize the settings for your needs.

What to Expect from the Procedure

During deep brain stimulation, the neurosurgeon places the stimulating electrode lead into an area of the brain called the internal globus pallidus or into the thalamus. An impulse generator is implanted in the chest. The two devices are connected by a wire. The neurologist can program the impulse generator with the use of a computer that transmits radio waves. Additionally, you can easily turn the impulse generator on or off with the use of a special magnet.

Patients with Parkinson’s disease can find comprehensive management resources at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, including deep brain stimulation. For more than 50 years, our hospital has proudly served residents of the Las Vegas area with comprehensive stroke care, emergency care, and heart health services. We encourage new patients to call (702) 233-5300 or visit us on the Web.

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