Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the preferred surgical option when symptom management -— for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor or dystonia — is not achieved to the patient’s satisfaction by medication. In this procedure, a small electrode is implanted in the symptom-specific site of the brain. The electrode is connected, by a thin wire that runs under the skin, to a battery pack (called a neurostimulator) implanted under the collarbone. The neurostimulator sends electrical impulses along the wire to the electrode, and can be adjusted to ensure greatest possible symptom control for the patient.
Unlike earlier surgeries used to address the symptoms of movement disorders — which destroyed a very small part of the brain — deep brain stimulation has the benefit of being reversible, and does not preclude the use of other therapies as they become available in the future.