What Is Deep Brain Stimulation?
DBS is a type of neuromodulation therapy. It helps control abnormal nerve impulses between the brain and the body. Similar to how a pacemaker regulates heart activity, DBS uses a device to regulate brain activity.
A neurosurgeon places electrodes in areas of the brain that cause seizures or abnormal movements. The electrodes stimulate nerves and reduce symptoms from the following:
- Parkinson’s disease
Why Choose Us for Deep Brain Stimulation?
People throughout western Ohio choose Kettering Health because we offer the following:
- Advanced neurodiagnostics: We use state-of-the-art imaging and 3D-brain-mapping technology. These powerful tools create detailed images that help us deliver accurate treatment when it’s time for DBS.
- Expert providers: Our skilled team includes specialized neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, as well as fellowship-trained epileptologists and neurologists. These physicians work together to plan your treatment and achieve the best possible results.
- Range of treatments: In addition to DBS, we offer a range of other treatments for epilepsy and movement disorders. These options allow us to customize a care plan for your unique needs.
Brainlab® Brain Mapping
At Kettering Health, surgeons perform DBS using an innovative brain-mapping technology called Brainlab®. Brainlab® allows us to create 3D images of structures in the brain.
We can visualize the areas that control vital functions, such as seeing, hearing, and speaking. The system helps us precisely place stimulation electrodes and avoid damaging healthy areas of the brain.
We also use a surgeon-controlled robotic arm to ensure we place brain electrodes safely and accurately.
Who Is a Candidate for Deep Brain Stimulation?
You may be a candidate for DBS if you
- Can have surgery without a high risk of complications.
- Do not have any cognitive dysfunction.
- Have epilepsy or a movement disorder that hasn’t improved with medication.
What to Expect During Deep Brain Stimulation
A neurosurgeon drills a small hole in the skull to place electrodes in your brain. Wires connect the electrodes to a programmable device called a neurostimulator.
The neurostimulator is usually implanted under the skin of your chest during a separate outpatient procedure.
Patients previously had to remain awake during DBS so surgeons could test them to ensure correct electrode placement. These days, brain-mapping tools create such an accurate picture of the brain’s function that you can be sedated during DBS. This is an important benefit for anyone with a movement disorder who may not be able to hold still.
Your doctor programs and controls the device to ensure the electrodes work properly and deliver the right amount of stimulation. You may be instructed to keep the neurostimulation on 24 hours a day, or you may turn it off at night.
The electrodes can stay in place indefinitely for long-term disease management, though the neurostimulator may need to be replaced at some point.
Benefits of Deep Brain Stimulation
Benefits include the following:
- It doesn’t damage healthy areas of the brain.
- Stimulation can be adjusted or stopped.
- Electrodes can be removed, if necessary.