Deep Brain Stimulation

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Scripps Green Hospital
10666 N. Torrey Pines Rd.
La Jolla, CA 92037 US 32.8984 -117.243
    Phone
    858-554-9100
    Visiting Hours
    • 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    • Visiting hours may be adjusted based on the patient's needs or wishes.

Advanced Treatment for Parkinson’s

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an innovative therapy which helps control symptoms of . It is often used when medication therapies have become ineffective at controlling symptoms. Deep brain stimulation has been highly effective in treating tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Deep brain stimulation is a surgical treatment where an electrode is placed in each hemisphere of the brain. The electrodes are thin wires that allow neurosurgeons to reach deeper areas of the brain—the globus pallidus— without having to destroy the surrounding tissue. Deep brain stimulation is used most often as treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

The electrodes are connected to an impulse generator—similar to a pacemaker— that is implanted under the skin in the chest. When the impulse generator is turned on, continuous electric pulses travel from the generator to the electrodes. The pulses disrupt brain activity between the two electrodes where the tremors originate, causing them to lesson or stop.

Advances in neurosurgery with deep brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulation is not a cure for Parkinson’s disease but it can offer many advantages over other types of neurosurgery.

The advantages of deep brain stimulation include:

  • Minimal damage to the surrounding brain tissue
  • A targeted therapy that can be adjusted through the impulse generator over time without additional surgery
  • The ability of the neurosurgeon to turn off the impulse at any time
  • Fewer complications than many neurosurgeries
  • Medications can often be reduced for Parkinson’s patients after deep brain stimulation