Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease

Deep Brain Stimulation pic

Deep Brain Stimulation
Image: parkinson.org

As a neurosurgeon at Cleveland Clinic Florida, Dr. Badih Adada undertakes skull base and vascular procedures. Dr. Badih Adada also draws on his extensive experience to train neurosurgeons around the globe in deep brain stimulation, a practice that aids patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is used to treat Parkinson’s by addressing symptoms such as rigidity, stiffness, tremors, and difficulty walking. Unlike other, more dated procedures, DBS does not destroy targeted brain cells nor damage healthy brain tissue; instead, it effectively blocks electrical signals being sent from specific areas in the brain, primarily the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus, and globus pallidus.

DBS is most commonly performed on patients who were diagnosed at least four years prior, and who continue to experience motor function issues despite positive results from medication. The latter is a factor because the surgery seems to best treat symptoms that respond to medication, and is less effective for symptoms that do not. DBS is also not ideal for patients who have developed dementia–a common accompaniment to Parkinson’s–as it can exacerbate this condition.

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