Advertisement

Did lesioning surgery work?

Sadly, lesioning surgery was not always able to reduce negative symptoms, and sometimes it resulted in damaging side effects. One of lesioning surgery's main problems is that its effects are typically irreversible. A lesioned brain structure is generally destroyed and unwanted side effects are permanent.

In the late 1980s, experts learned that the same effects that could be achieved with lesioning brain tissue also could be accomplished by using harmless pulses of electricity to stimulate the tissue.

This find was exciting because the effects of electrical stimulation are reversible. When the stimulation is turned off, in fact, the brain resumes its normal behavior. Like medicine, doctors could tailor the electrical stimulation to fit each patient's exact needs. However, unlike drug treatments, the electrical stimulation is able to be localized to affect only the intended parts of the brain.

After years of positive treatment results with deep brain stimulation (DBS), the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of DBS for conditions such as Parkinson's disease in 2002.

It remains the standard treatment for Parkinson's and several brain disorders similar to the disease.

Quick advancements were made in the development of implantable DBS devices because of similar technology: heart pacemakers. These devices have so much in common in their design that DBS are frequently referred to as brain pacemakers.

The electrode, the extension and the pulse generator are the main parts of an implantable DBS.

Continue Learning about Parkinson's Disease Treatment

When should deep brain stimulation (DBS) be considered?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
Specialists generally agree that implantation of a deep brain stimulation device should occur after ...
More Answers
What kinds of procedures are used to treat Parkinson's?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
The two types of procedures used to treat Parkinson's are deep brain stimulation (DBS) and ablative ...
More Answers
What Is Music Therapy's Impact on Parkinson's Patients?
What Is Music Therapy's Impact on Parkinson's Patients?
What Are Therapies for Parkinson's Disease?
What Are Therapies for Parkinson's Disease?

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.