Treating Movement Disorders
Offering hope to certain movement disorders patients when other treatments fail, the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Program at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin is the only program in the area to offer deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. DBS is a complicated procedure that requires a skilled and knowledgeable surgical team and highly specialized equipment.
Highly specialized deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgeryDBS was approved for the treatment of tremor in Parkinson’s disease in 1997. Several thousand Parkinson’s patients in the United States have now had the procedure. For most, DBS has vastly improved their quality of life.
DBS can improve certain symptoms for patients dealing with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders. For patients with Parkinson’s disease, the major symptom that improves is tremor, followed by muscle rigidity or stiffness.
The Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders team meets weekly to review patient cases, including patients who may be candidates for the deep brain stimulation procedure. Patient selection is based on a thorough analysis of their medical situation and needs, as well as the best evidence available in medical literature and our extensive experience in performing DBS procedures.
About DBSUsing a device like a heart pacemaker, but for the brain, this highly specialized surgery involves surgically implanting one or more electrodes in the brain. The electrodes are connected to a battery-operated device called a neurostimulator, which is implanted in the patient’s upper chest under the collarbone. Wires from the neurostimulator travel under the skin and scalp to the electrodes. Once operational and programmed, the neurostimulator delivers small amounts of electricity to the brain to help modulate abnormal brain activity that may be caused by the disease.
Date: May 16, 2012
Online Editor(s): Richard Petre