What are the side effects of deep brain stimulation for a Parkinson's patient?
Side effects of deep brain stimulation in people to treat Parkinson's may include impulsivity and depression. Biomedical engineer Sri Sarma, PhD, explains why in this video.
A millimeter away, a few millimeters away is the limbic part. The limbic, it's a part of the region
of the subthalamic nucleus that's connected to a limbic circuit, which controls our emotions. [MUSIC PLAYING]
So a couple of things-- so medications have lots of side effects. Deep-brain stimulation can also come with side effects
because, remember, you're changing the electrical patterns in, hopefully, a very small region of the brain. But with Parkinson's disease, one of the typical targets
is what's called a subthalamic nucleus. OK, it's a very small region in the brain. And I kind of describe it as like
a little egg-shaped structure, whose diameter is on the order of millimeters. Now-- a few millimeters.
Now, your DBS electrode, the tip of it, it's on the order of half a millimeter. So here you are trying to put an electrode,
looking for a very, very small target. Now, in the subthalamic nucleus, there's a subregion that's motor--
motor related. And that's the region you want to target for a Parkinson's patient. But right adjacent to it, a millimeter away,
a few millimeters away, is the limbic part. The limbic, it's a part of the region of the subthalamic nucleus that's
connected to a limbic circuit, which controls our emotions. So if you excite that, if you get the electrode slightly off,
or you excite too much of the tissue where you're hitting, the limbic part of the circuit, you can change their emotions.
So some of the side effects for DBS is impulsivity. People can become more impulsive.
They can become depressed. So you're altering-- you're kind of playing around with some of their emotional states.
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