Millions of Americans suffer from neurological disorders that cause uncontrollable, often severe, body tremors, and shakes. Conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and “essential tremor” can severely impact a person’s ability to perform even the most basic tasks of daily living.
While medications help control the symptoms for many patients, a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS, has proven to be especially successful in managing symptoms of patients who don’t respond to standard treatment.
Like a pacemaker for the heart, DBS involves surgically placing a small electrode into the brain that helps control the electrical signals in the brain. The stimulation is controlled by a small stimulator on the surface of your chest.
The patient and doctor work together using a hand-held device to control and fine tune the settings to achieve their desired level of relief. This can lead to reduced symptoms like stiffness, slow movements, and tremor.
In addition to providing the ability to adjust over time, this type of brain surgery does not damage brain tissue and is even reversible. Many patients are able to reduce their Parkinson medications.
While not a cure, when used in combination with other therapies such as medication, studies show significant improvement to quality of life. This includes:
Many even report “life changing” relief from shaking and muscle stiffness.
While MultiCare launched the DBS program in 2019, our physicians have deep experience with this procedure. A team of neurologists who specialize in movement disorders work closely with experienced neurosurgeons, patients and families to consider whether DBS may be a helpful part of a patient’s care plan.
Patients seeking DBS therapy must first undergo an extensive evaluation and screening process by MultiCare’s team of neurologists, neuropsychologists, and neurosurgeons. Contact MultiCare Neuroscience & Sleep Medicine – Tacoma at 253-403-7277 or MultiCare Neuroscience – Auburn at 253-697-4747 to schedule a consultation with one of our movement disorder specialists.