Language

COVID-19 Information

We're here to keep you informed, and care for your health. MultiCare facilities are open for all patients. COVID-19 Resource Center

Close

Deep Brain Stimulation

Surgical Treatment for Patients with Movements Disorders

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.

How Does DBS Work?

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.   

Benefits to Patients

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:

  • Decreased symptoms and discomfort
  • Increased mobility and independence
  • Improved emotional well-being

Many even report “life changing” relief from shaking and muscle stiffness.

Trusted team of experts

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.

How to get started?

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.