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More About Deep Brain Stimulation

Posted Nov 10 2010 5:11am

(Editor’s note:  For those contemplating Deep Brain Stimulation for treatment of their Parkinson’s disease symptoms, here’s some more information.)

About Deep Brain Stimulation:

Deep brain stimulation () has shown remarkable therapeutic benefits when administered to certain regions of the brain; especially in treatment resistant movement and affective disorders. Some of these disorders that can benefit from deep brain stimulation are: ‘s Disease, , dystonia, tremor, etc. Effects of deep brain stimulation directly changes brain activity in a controlled manner and effects are reversible.

There are three aspects that make up the complete deep brain stimulation procedure: (IPG), the lead and the extension. The IPG is the neurostimulator (battery powered). It is enclosed in a titanium housing and sends electrical pulses to the brain that interfere with neural activity in the target location. The “lead” is an insulated, coil wire with platinum electrodes (4). It is placed in one of three regions of the brain. The lead is connected to the IPG. The IPG and the lead are connected by the extension. The extension is an insulated wire that runs from the head along the neck and behind the ear. The IPG is placed subcutaneously below the clavicle or the abdomen. A neurologist or other medical professional can calibrate the IPG. Correct calibration ensures that symptom suppression as a result of treatment is optimized and that any potential side effects are controlled.

The three aspects of deep brain stimulation work together. They are surgically implanted into the patient’s body. The is done under local anesthesia. A hole is created (14 mm in diameter) by drilling into the patient’s skull. This is where the electrode is inserted (patient feedback will ensure optimal placement). The IPG and lead is done under general anesthesia.

Recovery from Deep Brain Stimulation:

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