How is deep brain stimulation used for Parkinson's disease?
Deep brain stimulation is essentially a pacemaker implant which programs out many Parkinson's symptoms, explains Melissa Houser, MD, a neurologist at Scripps Health.
It is not a last-resort option for Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's specialists are using it more and more
in the earlier stages of the disease when the medications are still working. [LIGHT ELECTRONIC MUSIC]
Deep brain stimulation is essentially a pacemaker of the brain. It's very similar to a cardiac pacemaker.
We put a small electrode the size of a angel hair pasta into the deep nuclei of the brain that
are involved in Parkinson's disease, connect it to a little generator in the chest wall, and program some of the symptoms out.
It's very successful. In the right candidate, in a carefully chosen candidate,
is not a last-resort option for Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's specialists are using it more and more
in the earlier stages of the disease when the medications are still working but the patient is
beginning to have a little bit of the wearing off or a little bit of the dyskinesia. And simply one of the reasons to use it
is not just symptomatic treatment but planning in advance so that we don't keep racking up their medications.
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