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Besides Parkinson's, what other disorders can deep brain stimulation help?

Two movement disorders, besides Parkinson's, that can benefit from deep brain stimulation are essential tremor and dystonia.

Essential tremor, the most common movement disorder in the United States, is characterized by tremors occurring during muscle movements. Usually medication is sufficient to treat this disorder, but in severe cases deep brain stimulation (DBS) is used.

Dystonia is a disorder which results in unwanted muscle contractions. Because dystonia patients are unable to control their neck and head movements, they must be placed under general anesthesia during surgery to implant their deep brain surgery (DBS) devices. That can make it more difficult for surgeons to properly place the implant devices.

Promising results with DBS have also been demonstrated in experimental treatment of conditions include Tourette syndrome, depression, multiple sclerosis, obsessive compulsive disorder and epilepsy.

Other applications now being explored include the treatment of depression, headaches and obesity.

In addition to Parkinson’s disease, deep brain stimulation (DBS) can help treat Essential Tremor, Dystonia, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Investigations are ongoing and initial research looks promising for treating Major Depression, Chronic Pain, and Alzheimer’s disease with deep brain stimulation.

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