Everything you need to know about deep brain stimulation in 2021
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery involves the implantation of a device that sends electrical signals to the parts of the brain that control movement to treat disabling neurological symptoms. Deep in the brain, electrodes are implanted and attached to a stimulator system. Long wires run underneath the skin and down the spine, connecting the electrodes to a battery-powered stimulator beneath the skin of the chest. A neurostimulator, like a heart pacemaker, uses electric signals to control brain activity. When the stimulator is turned on, it sends electrical waves to block defective nerve signals that trigger tremors, rigidity, and other symptoms. People who have successful DBS can reduce their medication and increase their quality of life.
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Three parts of a DBS device are inserted within the body:
- Neurostimulator – Neurostimulator is a battery-powered, programmable pacemaker that generates electric pulses. It is inserted under the skin of the chest, just below the collarbone, or in the abdomen.
- Lead – A coated wire with several electrodes at the tip that delivers electric pulses to brain tissues. It’s inserted into the brain and connected to an extension wire through a small hole in the skull.
- Extension – The lead is connected to the neurostimulator via an insulated wire. It runs from the scalp to behind the ears, down the spine, and to the chest, and is covered underneath the skin.
The DBS device is turned on and off by the patient using a handheld controller. The stimulator settings are programmed by the doctor using a wireless computer. As a patient’s condition varies over time, the stimulation settings may be changed. DBS does not damage the brain tissue like other operations like pallidotomy or thalamotomy. The DBS protocol is expected to become even more sophisticated in the future with the advent of more advanced technology.
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Dyskinesias are uncontrolled wiggling movements caused by high doses of levodopa medication. DBS is very effective at reducing dyskinesias. Typically, DBS can tend to reduce the severity of the patient’s symptoms, allowing the patient to take lower medicine dosage.
Risk of deep brain stimulator
The most severe risk is bleeding into the brain, which could lead to a stroke. However, it is noteworthy that such a stroke affects less than one percent of patients. A stroke can leave a person paralyzed or in a coma, which is conditional. There’s also a ten percent risk of less severe complications that comes with most surgeries. Infection, stimulator failure, and electrode or generator movement are all possible risks that patients need to consider.
After the procedure
In the hospital – The hospital stay preceding DBS surgery is usually 24 hours, but it can be longer depending on how easily the patient recovers and can return home. The doctor will come and see the patient, make sure they can leave, and give them home care guidelines.
At home – It’s important to keep the incisions clean and dry at home. While the wound recovers, the doctor will give the patient detailed instructions about how to bathe. If stitches are visible, they will be removed during a subsequent office visit. If adhesive strips are used, they should be kept dry and will usually fall off on their own after a few days.
Deep brain stimulation in India
Most renowned neurosurgery hospitals excel in deep brain stimulation in India. The positioning of electrodes within particular areas of the brain that cause symptoms associated with the motor disorder is a highly sensitive and dexterous procedure. This is the reason operation can only be performed by a highly-seasoned professional and qualified surgeon. Patients from all over the world choose Brain Stimulation treatment in India because of the treatment’s affordable pricing, which is up to 90% lower than those in Western countries.
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