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Movement Disorder Treatments

Deep brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a minimally invasive targeted brain surgery primarily used to treat movement disorders in Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. It is personalized for a patient's unique brain anatomy, particular symptoms and specific disease.

The procedure involves implanting a device often described as a “pacemaker for the brain.” There are two stages to the surgery. In the first stage, the surgeon implants electrodes on specific areas of either one side or both sides of the brain. In the second stage, the neurosurgeon implants a pacemaker-like neurostimulator under the skin, near the collarbone, and connects it to the electrodes with long lead wires passed under the skin and along the neck.

The stimulator sends constant high-frequency electrical impulses to the electrodes, which block the abnormal nerve signals causing the tremors.

For the treatment of essential tremor, DBS typically targets hand tremors. Clinical studies show that it can reduce hand tremor in 60 to 90 percent of essential tremor patients, improving their ability to do everyday activities.

Although it won’t slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease, DBS can significantly reduce the symptoms of tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and some types of walking problems. Results show that more than 70 percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease experience significant improvements to their motor function.

To schedule a neurosurgical consultation with Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates of BCH, call 303-938-5700.

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