Deep Brain Stimulation
What is Deep Brain Stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment that can help reduce symptoms for patients with severe tremor or Parkinson’s disease. During the procedure, a trained UTHealth Neurosciences neurosurgeon implants electrodes through small holes in the skull into the areas in the brain that coordinate muscle control. The electrodes are connected through wires that run under the skin to a stimulator device, much like a pacemaker in the heart. A patient can use a handheld controller to turn the device controlling the deep brain stimulation on and off.
Dr. Mya Schiess
Director, Movement Disorders and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Dr. Albert Fenoy
Director, Deep Brain Stimulation Program
The neurostimulator uses electrical pulses to regulate brain activity and can regulate abnormal electrical signaling patterns in the brain to ease symptoms of tremor, slowness, and stiffness. By sending continuous electrical signals to targeted areas of the brain, the impulses that cause neurological dysfunctions can be blocked. A successful procedure allows many people to reduce their medication and can significantly restore quality of life.
The procedure has been used for decades to treat intractable pain, but only more recently has become a possibility to reduce tremor symptoms. More than 35,000 patients worldwide have DBS implants, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
DBS may not be an option for all patients. Your medical team will conduct an extensive assessment of your condition to determine if you would benefit from this surgery.
The effects are reversible, and patients would still be candidates for other procedures as they become available.
At UTHealth Neurosciences, we offer patients access to specialized neurological care at clinics across the greater Houston area. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-8000, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.