Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) can help treat neurodegenerative diseases including essential tremor, Parkinson disease, and dystonia. It may alleviate symptoms when medicine fails. After careful screening, this therapy can lead to a significant and lasting improvement in quality of life.
Why Choose Ochsner for Deep Brain Stimulation?
Ochsner Health is proud to have the busiest, longest-running deep brain stimulation program in the region. Our experienced, multidisciplinary team brings together neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, neurophysiologists, social workers, nurses, and medical assistants who are dedicated to helping patients achieve the best possible outcome.
Our team will:
- Confirm or re-examine your diagnosis
- Assess your personal goals for DBS treatment
- Teach you about DBS therapy, which allows you to make a clear and informed decision using up-to-date, evidenced-based medicine
- Explain our surgical hardware, types of stimulators, risks, and benefits
What can you expect for DBS surgery day?
Typically, a patient will come in on Tuesday morning for DBS surgery. The patient will be awake for a portion of the surgery to ensure good improvement in symptoms. Patients typically stay overnight and go home the next day. The DBS battery pack will be placed in the chest on a separate visit and connected to the DBS leads.
What happens after surgery?
A few weeks after surgery, the neurologist will turn the DBS on and program it. Patients receive a remote control, allowing them to turn their system on and off at home.
Make an Appointment
To make an appointment, call 504-842-3980 or go to MyOchsner. We also offer second opinions.
There are certain symptoms that can be alleviated with DBS, which include:
- Essential Tremor
- Parkinson’s Disease
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of deep brain stimulation?
As your neurodegenerative disease changes over time, your physician can adapt your therapy to best suit your needs.
How does it work?
DBS delivers a very small current of energy to parts of the brain for symptomatic treatment. Unlike medications, which provide benefits that come and go throughout a given day, DBS provides constant, even therapy, which can alleviate symptoms around the clock. Equipment required for DBS therapy include either one or two DBS leads (wires) placed by the neurosurgeon and a battery pack, which is typically placed in the chest region, similar to a cardiac pacemaker.
What doesn’t deep brain stimulation treat?
DBS has not been shown to stop or slow the disease progression of any neurodegenerative disease. DBS does not help and may even worsen patients with diseases such as MSA (multiple systems atrophy), PSP (progressive supranuclear palsy), LBD (Lewy body dementia) or other “Parkinson’s plus” disorders.
DBS in Essential Tremors
Certain tremors can severely affect your quality of life. Writing, eating, and other hobbies that require fine motor control can be severely affected by tremors. DBS can often dramatically improve medication-resistant tremor.
What are some of the most common symptoms helped by DBS in Parkinson's disease?
- Dyskinesias (wiggling)
- Tremor (shaking)
When do Parkinson patients benefit from DBS?
- When a symptom cannot be adequately controlled by medications alone
- When typical PD medications cannot be tolerated (side effects)
- When medication benefits no longer last more than several hours (medication-resistant ON/OFF fluctuations)
Where are the DBS leads placed in a Parkinson patient?
No two Parkinson’s patients are alike, your multidisciplinary team can help guide your decision on the optimal DBS target (what part of the brain we aim to stimulate). The typical targets in PD are STN, GPi and sometimes VIM.
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