Today Deep Brain Stimulation has become a standard treatment for patients with Parkinson’s, and at Valley, our team of neurosurgeons gets excellent results. For patients with severe Parkinson’s disease, nothing has come close to this procedure for providing relief from symptoms and restoring independence.
During the procedure, our surgical team use MRI technology and neurophysiological mapping to insert electrodes into the patient’s affected brain region. The patient remains awake and responsive during the procedure so that he or she can provide the necessary responses to ensure accurate placement. A device similar to a pacemaker is then implanted under the collarbone to provide an electrical impulse to the affected brain region, with the aim being to reduce tremors and other debilitating symptoms typical of Parkinson’s. Those who undergo the surgery are given a controller, which allows them to check the battery and to turn the device on or off. Batteries last 3-5 years and are easy to replace under local anesthesia.
Is DBS Right for You?
Deep Brain Stimulation is not a cure for Parkinson's, and it does not slow disease progression. Like all brain surgery, deep brain stimulation surgery carries a small risk of infection, stroke, or bleeding. A small number of people with Parkinson’s have experienced cognitive decline after this surgery. That said, for many people, it can dramatically relieve symptoms and improve quality of life, with benefits lasting five years or more.