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What Is DBS Therapy?


DBS Therapy for dystonia, which uses deep brain stimulation technology, is approved for the aid in management of chronic, intractable (drug refractory) primary dystonia, including generalised and segmental dystonia, hemidystonia, and cervical dystonia (torticollis), for individuals 7 years of age and older.

How DBS Works

During DBS Therapy, a small, pacemaker-like device sends electronic signals to an area in the brain that controls movement. These signals block some of the brain messages that cause frustrating and disabling motor symptoms.

The device is placed under the skin in the chest (not in the brain). Very thin wires connect the device to your brain to enable the signals to reach the source of your symptoms.

What to Expect During Therapy

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 tuned 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 had become difficult for you.

Your clinician programs the system to manage your individual symptoms. In addition, your clinician may provide you with a small, handheld patient programmer. This programmer may allow you to adjust the system and turn it on and off. In most cases, the neurostimulator is always on.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.