What is deep brain stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure to treat neurological conditions. It involves placing a pacemaker under chest skin, below the collarbone, which sends electronic impulses to a part of the brain that controls movements.
DBS is generally an option when traditional medications or therapy are not effective to treat neurological disorders. It helps patients to reduce medication and return to normal life.
What is deep brain stimulation procedure?
It is typically used for conditions like Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremors, etc that are resistant to other forms of treatment. The procedure involves two parts:
- Placement of electrodes at the targeted brain area(s): The surgeon needs to locate the areas of the brain which need to be targeted. This is done through an MRI/CT scan or electrode recording technique. Electrodes are placed in the target area, with the loose ends placed under the skin of the head. This procedure is done under general anesthesia.
- Placement of pacemaker in the chest: Under general anesthesia, a pacemaker is placed just below the collarbone under the skin of the chest. It is connected to the electrodes using extension wires.
Signals are generated from the pacemakers and sent to the brain, which block the impulses that cause tremors in various parts of the body.
The patient is expected to stay in the hospital for 1-2 days after the surgery. Recovery time is quick, though there might be disorientation or itchiness near the stitches initially.