Parkinson’s Patients May See Some Relief from Deep Brain Stimulation
With a limited number of treatments available to patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, many patients are turning to the newest form of treatment available, deep brain stimulation, or DBS. The procedure helps to inactivate unwanted signals from either the thalamus gland or signals from the globus pallidus, of the brain without destroying any of the brain’s tissue.
If you have any questions, or you would like to find out if deep brain stimulation(DBS) is recommended for your condition, contact someone who specializes in neurological services and treatment Los Angeles CA.
DBS – The Definition
DBS is a treatment that allows neurologists to use electricity to modulate the nuclei in various centers in the brain. The targeted portions of the brain are those responsible for causing the movements experienced by patients with Parkinson’s disease. For patients who experience essential tremors, the electrode heads are attached on the thalamus. Patients who suffer from Parkinson’s may require placement of the electrodes on the subthalamic nucleus or the globus pallidus of the brain.
After the electrodes are placed, they are carefully connected to a device capable of providing an electrical charge, similar to that of a pacemaker. It is an implantable device known as implant that generates an electrical pulse, or IPG, which is inserted under the collarbone in the chest.
How the Implant is Controlled
After the IPG is implanted, it will send either continuous, or intermittent electrical impulses to the areas the neurologist wishes to target. The mild electrical impulse helps to modify the circuits inside the brain that create undesired motor movement symptoms that are associated with Parkinson’s disease. The advantage to this treatment approach is that it does not permanently change the targeted centers of the brain or cause any longstanding damage or change.
The IPG will be set up utilizing a specialized computer, which is able to communicate implant by sending a series of radio signals. Patients are provided with a remote that allows them to turn the device on and off. It also provides information about the device’s lifespan and it also allows them to adjust how the implant that pulses, and the way that it works can be customized to suit the specific needs at the time.
Types Abnormal Movement Corrected by DBS
There are many types of movement problems that can benefit from the use of DBS. The following movement problems are currently eligible for this form of treatment, as long as they meet certain criteria.
- The primary symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease can be reduced or eliminated by utilizing subthalamic nucleus stimulation. This helps to reduce overall symptoms like tremor, slow movement, difficulty walking or balancing, and rigidity.
- A patient who is extremely bothered by the involuntary movements associated with Parkinson’s disease are able to receive relief from this symptom, and they are able to reduce the amount of medication they are taking after surgery.
- Stimulating the globus pallidus is a great method for targeting a large number of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. While it does not reduce the symptoms that affect balance and walking, it is less likely to create the cognitive changes necessary, to eliminate unwanted symptoms experienced with regular medications to treat the same symptoms.
- Stimulating the thalamus gland in this way only relieves the symptoms of tremor and rigidity. It is rarely performed on patients with Parkinson’s disease, unless the case is considered unique and the neurologist feels that it will provide benefits to the patient.
- If a patient experiences relief from their symptoms on the medication known as Sinemet®, or generically as carbidopa levodopa, the patient will most likely receive relief from their symptoms with DBS.
As a better understanding of the human brain is developed, there may be additional treatments utilizing the science behind deep brain stimulation.