Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease

Deep Brain Stimulation pic

Deep Brain Stimulation

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.


How Does Deep Brain Stimulation Work?

Deep Brain Stimulation pic

Deep Brain Stimulation

Dr. Badih Adada, a neurosurgeon at Cleveland Clinic Florida and a former medical director and professor, possesses more than two decades of experience in a range of neurological specialties. Among these fortes is a sound understanding of movement disorders and deep brain stimulation, and Dr. Badih Adada carries out related procedures for patients suffering from epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is one surgical option for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and can improve symptoms–tremors, rigidity, and difficulty walking, for instance–by blocking electrical signals stemming from certain parts of the brain. The procedure is generally reserved for patients whose symptoms have not responded to medication.

Prior to the surgery, the patient is given an MRI, the image from which helps the neurosurgeon pinpoint the precise spot in the brain requiring stimulation. The location is most often within the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus, or globus pallidus.

The DBS implantation device is made up of three parts: A lead or electrode is implanted into the brain; it is then connected to an IPG (implantable pulse generator) via an insulated wire “extension” that passes beneath the skin, along the shoulder, neck, and head.

DBS procedures do not cause any significant permanent changes to the brain. If the implant results in negative side effects, or the patient chooses to end the treatment for any reason, the IPB can be removed, halting stimulation.

Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders

Dr. Badih Adada pic

Dr. Badih Adada

Dr. Badih Adada is an accomplished neurosurgeon with more than 14 years of experience. He has specialized skills in the area of deep brain stimulation. Dr. Badih Adada has trained doctors all over the world to perform deep brain stimulation.

Question: What is deep brain stimulation?
Answer: Deep brain stimulation is a special kind of surgical procedure used to treat some neurological symptoms. The procedure involves placing a small, battery-operated implantable pulse generator and one or two electrodes inside the patient. The impulses from the generator travel to the electrodes and help correct irregularities.

Question: What diseases does deep brain stimulation treat?
Answer: Deep brain stimulation is commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease. It is also used in the treatment of essential tremor, dystonia, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, and very severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Question: What diseases could deep brain stimulation treat in the future?
Answer: Deep brain stimulation is being studied for use in treatment of addiction, dementia, and depression. It is also being considered for use in patients recovering from a stroke.

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease

Deep Brain Stimulation pic

Deep Brain Stimulation

As a neurosurgeon at Cleveland Clinic Florida, Dr. Badih Adada provides treatment for a wide variety of brain and spinal cord disorders. Dr. Badih Adada has performed a number of brain stimulation treatments, which address the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Designed to alleviate the involuntary and inhibited movements that characterize Parkinson’s disease, deep brain stimulation renders certain aspects of the brain inactive. To perform the procedure, a surgeon must first identify those areas of the brain that are causing the patient’s symptoms. The US Food and Drug Administration has to date approved three targets, the most common of which are the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and the globus pallidus interna (GPi). Research suggests that the GPi may provide a safer target for preservation of cognition and language, though the STN has proved most successful in reducing medication levels.

Once the neurosurgeon has identified the target for a particular patient, that surgeon will surgically introduce an insulated wire known as an electrode through the skull and place the tip inside the targeted area. An extension wire connects the electrode to an implanted neurostimulator, most commonly located under the patient’s collarbone. This system sends electrical signals that can block tremor-inducing signals without removing brain tissue.