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Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep Brain stimulation is known as the elective surgical procedure where the electrodes are implanted into the specific brain areas. Here the electrodes generate the electric impulses that control the abnormal brain activity. These electrical impulses can be adjusted for the chemical imbalances within the brain.
It is generally used to treat various disorders related to essential tremors, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, and other neurological conditions. Deep Brain Stimulation or DBS can also control the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and epilepsy. This DBS treatment is implemented when medications are no longer effective for patients maintaining their good quality of life.
What does the Deep Brain Stimulation system involve?
Usually, the Deep Brain Stimulation System involves three distinct components. These components are:
It is an insulated wire inserted through a small opening in the skull and implanted into a certain brain area.
The Extension Wire
The extension wire is insulated and passed under the skin of the head, shoulder, and neck. It interfaces the electrode with the internal pulse generator.
The Internal Pulse Generator
This is the third component of the Deep Brain Stimulation system, and it is generally implanted under the skin in the upper chest.
Who can benefit from Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment?
Parkinson’s disease is one of the common movement disorders where the Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment can be an effective solution. It can be used for patients with uncontrollable tremors for whom the medications have not been effective. It is also beneficial for patients that respond well to the medications but experience severe motor fluctuations and dyskinesias when the drugs wear off.
This is another common disorder where doctors suggest Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment. Deep Brain Stimulation can be effective in cases where the shaking can be disabling and limiting everyday tasks like shaving, dressing, or eating. Here DBS can help improve people’s lives with essential tremors and function normally.
Dystonia is a very uncommon movement disorder; however, its symptoms such as twisting movements and abnormal postures can respond to the Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment. It is known to provide adequate relief when the medication fails. Here the patient’s response to the treatment depends on the causes of dystonia. If the doctor cannot detect the reason, he tends to perform several tests as a part of the treatment workup.
Besides these conditions mentioned above, DBS can also benefit people living with Tourette disorder, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, more research is required to determine whether the treatment effectively treats these psychiatric disorders.
How To Prepare Yourself For Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment?
The first step to preparing yourself for Deep Brain Stimulation treatment is to understand its pros and cons. This treatment is known as one of the potentially serious and risky procedures. Therefore your doctor will carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks of the procedure once you decide on it.
Once your doctor approves, you will likely get a few medical tests done to confirm that DBS treatment is a safe option for you. Some of you may also need to get an MRI before the surgery. These tests will help map the brain areas that will have the electrodes implanted.
The benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation treatment should always be weighed carefully against its risks. Although the majority of the patients have already benefited from this treatment, there is no guarantee that the treatment can help every patient.