Services: Deep Brain Stimulation
John Clemens, pictured with his wife Darlene, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2002, couldn't stop his hands from trembling.
Something needed to change, but what could help? Read
Daryoush Tavanaiepour, MD, chair of the department of neurosurgery and medical director
of movement disorders, discussed how deep brain stimulation, an innovative type
of therapy, can benefit patients and caregivers of those with Parkinson’s and other
movement disorders during the virtual Prime of Your Life event held via Zoom on
Dec. 7, 2020. Watch Video »
Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, is a surgery to implant a device that sends electrical
signals to brain areas responsible for body movement. Electrodes are placed deep
in the brain and are connected to a stimulator device. Similar to a heart pacemaker,
a neuro stimulator uses electric pulses to regulate brain activity. DBS can help
reduce the symptoms of epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders.
Once surgery is complete, the DBS device is programmed in the outpatient clinic
by a neurologist or epileptologist. Successful DBS allows people to potentially
reduce their medications and improve their quality of life.
DBS therapy was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017,
2002 and 1998. This therapy is also approved in Europe, Australia, Japan and Canada.
What conditions does DBS treat?
Deep brain stimulation is approved to treat a number of conditions, such as:
- Dystonia, including spasmodic torticollis
- Essential tremor
- Parkinson's disease
DBS does not eliminate a patient’s condition, however, successful treatments will
help reduce symptoms. In some cases, medications may still be required.
How do I know if I’m a candidate for DBS?
Before being considered a candidate for DBS, patients must undergo an extensive
process. Our multidisciplinary team of neurologists and neurosurgeons work with
a neuropsychologist/psychiatrist to assess each patient based on their condition.
Some patients may additionally require a speech and swallowing evaluation and psychiatric
evaluation for treatment of active affective disorders.
How does DBS work?
The deep brain stimulation device has thin wires that carry electrical impulses
from the neurostimulator device directly to the brain to modulate the brain circuitry
to help reduce the patients symptoms.
DBS does not damage healthy brain tissue or destroy nerve cells. Instead, the procedure
interrupts problematic electrical signals from targeted areas in the brain to improve
The DBS neurostimulator is a battery operated device that can be programmed like
a tiny computer, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, to control symptoms.
The device is programmed by your neurologist to deliver tiny electrical impulses
to control symptoms and improve quality of life.
How helpful is DBS?
DBS is not a cure but can decrease the number and severity of conditions in many
The positive effects of DBS therapy may not be seen right away. It can take up to
several months to completely program the device. For patients with epilepsy and dystonia, the
longer the device is stimulating the better the benefits or reduction of symptoms.
DBS is typically used together with medication. Like other devices used to treat
epilepsy or Parkinson’s, if seizure or tremor control improves with DBS, medicines
may be lowered to lessen side effects.
How do I know if I am a candidate for deep brain stimulation, or DBS?
Determining if a person may benefit from DBS therapy starts with meeting your movement
disorders and epilepsy specialist, along with the surgeon, to see if you are a good
For more information or to request an appointment, call 904-383-1022
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.