Deep Brain Stimulator

Deep Brain Stimulators for Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor

In 1997 the most important procedure to treat the tremor of Parkinson's disease and essential tremor received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), namely stereotactic insertion of a deep brain stimulator into the thalamus.

In January 2002 the FDA approved bilateral subthalamic nucleus and globus pallidus deep brain stimulators to treat other movement symptoms of Parkinson's disease including rigidity, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), tremor and freezing.

Deep brain stimulation has the advantage that instead of destroying the overactive cells that cause symptoms in Parkinson's disease, it temporarily disables them by firing rapid pulses of electricity between 4 electrodes at the tip of the lead. The lead is permanently implanted and connected to a pacemaker controller installed underneath the skin of the chest.

Deep brain stimulators are also under investigation for control of dyskinesia and dystonia, whether related to Parkinson's disease or not. The globus pallidus appears to be the most promising target for these potential indications.

 

 

DBS Target: Bilateral Subthalamic Nucleus (STN)

Likely symptomatic benefits:

  • Freezing
  • Lower dose of medications
  • Postural instability
  • Rigidity
  • Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
  • Tremor
  • Reduces "off" time
  • Reduces time "on" with dyskinesias
  • Activities of daily living signifcantly improved

DBS Target: Bilateral Globus Pallidus (GPi)

Likely symptomatic benefits:

  • Rigidity Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
  • Tremor
  • Reduces "off" time
  • Reduces time "on" with dyskinesias
  • Activities of daily living signifcantly improved
  • Dystonia

DBS Target: Thlamus (VIM or VPL)

Likely symptomatic benefits:

  • Tremor
  • Activities of daily living signifcantly

For more information on deep brain stimulation, select a link below.

Gliasite RTS
Movement Disorder Program at WFBMC

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Last Updated: 12-19-2014
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