Can Deep Brain Stimulation Help People with Parkinson’s

deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's

Surgery isn’t the first choice for treating Parkinson’s. But if medications aren’t doing the job anymore, your doctor may recommend this procedure. That’s less likely if you have dementia, mood disorders, or an increased risk of surgical complications. And there are medications that seem to predict success or failure with deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s.

What It Does

Parkinson’s causes irregular nerve signaling in the brain. That signaling causes tremor, motor problems, etc. The nerve stimulator uses electrical impulses to normalize the electrical messaging of nerves in the brain.

Deep brain stimulation has no effect on the Parkinson’s itself. It doesn’t cure or even delay the progress of the condition. The therapy is aimed at alleviating your symptoms, and that can be a miracle in its own right.

The Procedure

It sounds a little like science fiction, but it’s real, and for many, it works. There are three parts to the equipment:

  • Electrodes: You’ll be awake for the surgery so you can help the surgeon find the problem areas of your brain.
  • Nerve Stimulator: This is implanted in your upper torso.
  • Connecting Wires: These go under the skin and connect the nerve stimulator to the electrodes.

And afterwards, you’ll stay in the hospital at least another 24 hours.

Taking Care of Your Equipment

Your doctor will give you the full story concerning life after the implant. You’ll be counseled on avoiding screening devices like those at the airport, and on what to do if you have a problem. But one of the benefits of deep brain stimulation is its adjustability to your symptoms and your medications.

Conclusion

Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s offers patients another option in the search for relief from symptoms. It may sound like science fiction, but many people are grateful that it’s science fact.