Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure to treat disabling neurological symptoms or neuropsychiatric disorders.
DBS involves the implantation of a neurostimulator, a medical device (commonly known as brain pacemaker) to send electrical signals to specific locations in the brain.
How is DBS done?
Before starting the DBS procedure, the neurosurgeon does MRI or CT scan to identify the exact location in the brain from where the Parkinson’s disease symptoms are generated.
During the procedure, a thin insulated wire (an electrode) is inserted in the skull through a small opening. It is implanted in the brain within the identified targeted area. The extension is passed under the skin through the head, neck, and shoulder connecting the electrode to the neurostimulator that is generally implanted under the skin around collarbone or chest or the abdomen. The neurostimulator blocks the abnormal nerve signals causing tremor and other neurological symptoms.
Patients are usually able to reduce their medications after Deep Brain Stimulation procedure. They show a significant improvement in symptoms of the neurological disorders.
When is deep brain stimulation required?
Deep Brain Stimulation is used when medications fail to response in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, major depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), tremor, neurological movement disorder, dystonia, chronic pain and others.
Recovery after DBS
The hospital stay is about one-two days until the incision pain is controlled. Patient is able to eat, drink and walk within a day. After the surgery, an MRI or a CT scan would be done to confirm the electrodes location and check for any bleeding.
After the DBS, sometimes patients may feel sleepy and slightly disoriented for few days.
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