Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a 24-hour therapy that fits your lifestyle. DBS helps control movement symptoms of Parkinson’s — tremor (shaking), slowed movement (bradykinesia), and stiffness (rigidity). When medications aren’t as effective as they used to be and your symptoms make everyday life a challenge, DBS may help.
Just like a pacemaker for the heart, a small neurostimulator is surgically placed under the skin in the chest or abdomen to deliver DBS therapy.
The device sends electrical pulses through extension cables to the leads and electrodes that are placed in an area of the brain that controls movement. These pulses disrupt some of the brain’s messages that cause the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. DBS therapy is reversible and can be discontinued at any time by turning off the neurostimulator or surgically removing the device.
Following the procedure, your doctor adjusts the settings to optimise the therapy for you. Getting the initial settings right for you may take several sessions. Over time, your settings are then adjusted as your symptoms change.
Most people don’t feel the stimulation at all as it reduces their symptoms. Some people may feel a brief tingling when the stimulation is first turned on. A few weeks after the procedure, you can go back to your normal daily activities.
Always following your doctor’s instructions, you can gradually try activities that have become difficult for you.
For over 30 years, we’ve been developing DBS technology and expanding treatment to more medical conditions.
Medtronic is a global leader in medical technology, services, and solutions, serving millions of people around the world every day. So far, more than 175,000 people have had Medtronic DBS therapy for Parkinson’s and other conditions.