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How can the deep brain stimulation electrode help?

Because Parkinson's disease disrupts the electrical flow of brain activity throughout the basal ganglia, implanting a deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrode can allow electrical pulses to be delivered that counteract the abnormal brain activity. The alteration achieved by the DBS implant can decrease disease symptoms.

The electrode does its work by targeting one of several structures in the basal ganglia.

For Parkinson's disease, the target is most commonly the subthalamic nucleus (STN).

When a deep brain stimulation electrode is implanted in the STN, it sends out pulses of electricity, which modifies its behavior. By changing the behavior of the STN, the electrode ultimately alters all of the brain activity normally affected by the STN. As a result, the DBS electrode is very influential because the STN is one of several structures that all work together in the basal ganglia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.