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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Neurological Conditions – Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease pic

Parkinson’s Disease
Image: WebMD.com

In his capacity as neurosurgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida, Dr. Badih Adada provides surgical care, including deep brain stimulation for patients challenged by Parkinson’s disease. Before establishing himself in medicine, Dr. Badih Adada completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Montreal.

Parkinson’s is a disease that impacts movement, and has no known cause and no cure, though researchers have developed effective therapies to manage the condition as it progresses. When a patient develops Parkinson’s, it means that neurons have begun to die in the substantia nigra, a part of the brain. Many of these neurons are important, as they provide the brain with a molecule that regulates movement. As the neurons die, less of this molecule is released, giving rise to movement difficulties like tremors and balance issues in patients.

Deep brain stimulation is one of many innovative treatments for Parkinson’s disease, which involves surgery to insert electrodes into the brain that stimulate specific neural regions. The stimulus in turn blocks tremor-causing signals. Interestingly, medical researchers do not yet understand the mechanisms that make deep brain stimulation effective in treating Parkinson’s-related tremors.

Three Common Signs to Look for with Parkinson’s Disease

Dr. Badih Adada pic

Dr. Badih Adada
Image: my.clevelandclinic.org

Dr. Badih Adada serves as a neurosurgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida. In addition to having performed more than 4,000 brain procedures, Dr. Badih Adada is actively involved in training the next generation of neurosurgeons.

Are you worried that you or a loved one may be beginning to suffer from Parkinson’s disease? Here are three signs you can look for in your everyday life. They may not necessarily indicate a problem with Parkinson’s, but if you experience any of these symptoms and are concerned, you should make an appointment with your doctor to talk about them.

Shaking or trembling. Do your hands, legs, or parts of your face have tremors or shakes that you cannot control? Sometimes this can happen after an intense workout or an injury or as a side effect from a medication. If these are not the case, the shaking could be an early symptom of Parkinson’s.

Lack of ability to smell. A stuffy nose from seasonal allergies, the flu, or a common cold can keep you from smelling things very well. If you find that your inability to smell lingers for a longer period of time, though, you should talk with your doctor.

Pain or difficulty when moving. Everyone experiences joint and muscle pain from time to time. Typically, stiffness or achiness goes away when you are active and moving. If you have pain and stiffness in your hips, your shoulder, or your arms that does not seem to go away, or if you find that when you walk, your arms do not swing like they used to, it could be an indicator of Parkinson’s disease, and you should make an appointment with your physician.

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease

Deep Brain Stimulation pic

Deep Brain Stimulation
Image: Medscape.com

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.