Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

Parkinson's disease is one of the most common movement disorders caused by the degeneration of DA producing part of the brain called the substantia nigra. As DA is an important neurotransmitter that enables movement control, a decrease in DA leads to various symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The disease is slow in progression, but the rate of progression might differ from individual to individual. The continuous loss of DA makes Parkinson’s disease increasingly disabling over time. The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are: Tremor, Slowness of movements (bradykinesia), Limb rigidity, Gait and balance problems. There can be other motor and non-motor symptoms, and patients may have one of more of these symptoms depending on the disease severity.

The cause of Parkinson's disease remains unknown. Although there is no cure, treatment options vary and include medications and surgery.

    What is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) ?

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy is a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. It uses a neurostimulator, which sends electrical impulses to the brain to block or regulate abnormal brain messages causing some of the movement symptoms. This leads to an improvement in motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including shaking, stiffness, or difficulty in moving.

    Is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) A Well Established Therapy ?

    This therapy started developing in 1987 and is backed by decades of research, innovation, and experience. There is a lot of clinical evidence and it is supported by 5 Level 1 clinical studies—the highest quality of evidence. As of 2017, more than 150,000 people have received Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) worldwide.

    What are the benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson’s Disease?

    The following are 6 major outcomes of the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) procedure:

    • Reduces dyskinesia and fluctuations
    • Up to 5 additional hours of good movement without dyskinesia
    • Treats tremors and rigidity
    • Improves activities of daily living
    • Works day and night
    • Improves quality of life
    Are you a candidate for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)?

    A lot of research has gone into finding the a suitable patient for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Preliminary screening can be done by answering following four questions to see if Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy may be useful for you.

    • Are your medicines not able to control your symptoms completely throughout the day – Yes/No
    • Is troubling dyskinesias (involuntary excessive movements) becoming a problem for you? – Yes/No
    • Has your frequency and dosage of DA drugs increased in the last few months? – Yes/No
    • Are drug combinations causing side effects such as: sleepiness, nausea, hallucinations, confusion/other thinking problems, lightheadedness upon standing, behavioral/personality changes? – Yes/No

    "Yes" to some of the questions above provides you a guidance and you should further ask your doctor if Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy is right for you. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) might be able to help you.

    Can I wait for some time before considering Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)?

    There is a window of opportunity where Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is helpful for you. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy is no longer an option when:

    • Medications stop improving your symptoms
    • There is severe disability.
    • Surgery is not advisable for any other contraindication.

    Think Earlier – A lot of people assume that Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy is a last-ditch effort to preserve your way of life. This however is not true, and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) should be considered and evaluated when your medications are becoming less effective at controlling your movements. Speaking with a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) expert can help you find the right answers - it's never too early to talk with your doctor about Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), and it's important not to wait too long.

    What are the risk ? Safety profile of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has been in use for nearly 30 years. Any possible risks and complications are well known and can be easily predicted. It is a relatively safer procedure with minimal risk.

    Our Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Speciality Clinic at the hospital can provide you with the detailed information on potential complications and risks involved in the procedure.

    Steps in the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) procedure
    • Consultation with our doctors at Aster.
    • If Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a treatment option for you, extended examinations are conducted
    • Once it has been established that there are no contraindications, and you have provided consent, we can proceed to the admission for the surgery.
    • Pre—operative management of medication and preparation are conducted.
    • Surgery is performed, and patients are usually kept awake with light sedation, to better test brain functions, effects and side effects.
    • Patients are then introduced to the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) neurostimulator, it‘s programming, and functional testing
    • Transfer to a rehabilitation clinic, if required.
    • Regular aftercare for outpatients (at least once a year) and follow-up care for inpatients, if needed.

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