If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you must be exploring the different treatment options for the condition. Though Parkinson’s cannot be cured, there are many treatments available for controlling its symptoms. One such treatment is deep brain stimulation which has proven to be a ray of hope for many Parkinson’s patients.
Read on below to know if you should consider deep brain stimulation for your Parkinson’s.
How Is Deep Brain Stimulation Useful For Parkinson’s?
Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s has helped keep the debilitating symptoms of the condition at bay for many patients. The technique involves sending a mild electrical current to a specific region of your brain. This electricity then stimulates the brain cells in that particular area, eventually blocking the nerve signals that lead to the symptoms of Parkinson’s. For sending the artificial electric current, surgery will be performed to place a small device, called a pulse generator inside your chest. This device is connected through wires to electrodes that are placed on both sides of the brain via small holes made in your skull.
Each human brain has billions of neurons, and these cells exchange electrical and chemical signals with one another. Neurons in various regions of your brain can become less active due to a variety of brain disorders. When that occurs, those brain regions are less effective. You may have disturbances in the abilities governed by the damaged section of the brain.
DBS for Parkinson’s works because the artificial electrical current stimulates certain neurons, alleviating the signs of the condition.
Though a DBS offers many benefits to a patient with Parkinson’s, it is not a cure. Thus, you need to consult with a skilled and experienced neurosurgeon who can properly review your case and evaluate your suitability for the procedure.
Eligibility For Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is not a suitable treatment choice for every Parkinson’s patient. As every patient is unique, so is the case history. Generally, deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s is advised under the following circumstances:
- You have had Parkinson’s for at least 4 years and suffer from motor complications
- Difficulties in managing the motor symptoms of the condition
- The disease is fast progressing and is beyond management by medicines
- You are experiencing side-effects of Parkinson’s medications such as dyskinesias
Though the idea of getting surgery for your Parkinson’s may seem unnecessary, especially in the early stage, DBS can prove to be an effective and long term solution when your symptoms escalate. However, to decide if DBS surgery will be beneficial for you in the long run, you should consult with an experienced neurosurgeon who can guide you.
In case, you are not satisfied with the treatment recommendations given by your primary doctor, you can avail a second opinion from our neuroscience board consisting of neurologists specialized in treating Parkinson’s. This way you can get more information about your condition and treatments.
Factors To Evaluate When Considering DBS For Parkinson’S
Undergoing DBS surgery for Parkinson’s is not a decision that should be made in haste. Only after you have received complete information about the procedure and have discussed it with your doctor, should you make a choice. Some important factors to evaluate when considering DBS for Parkinson’s are
(I). Benefits and risks of Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s
You should weigh the benefits and risks of deep brain stimulation before undergoing the procedure. Deep brain stimulation can be beneficial for Parkinson’s because
- DBS will work even with low-dosage of medicines: Usually for Parkinson’s, as the symptoms of the condition worsen, the neurologist will have to increase the dosage of your medicines. This can lead to side- effects. However, if you have undergone DBS surgery, your medications will be effective at low dosages as well. Thus, lowering the risk of side effects.
- DBS improves your quality of life: For people with Parkinson’s, symptoms such as tremors can make it difficult to perform daily activities. Though DBS doesn’t cure Parkinson’s, it can improve the symptoms of the condition. Thus, improving the quality of life of patients.
- DBS is adjustable and reversible: In case you are finding DBS to be unsuitable or it is leading to side effects, a follow-up surgery can be performed to remove the pulse generator and leads. Also, your neurosurgeon can help in fine-tuning the device according to your comfort.
Besides the benefits, there are some risks that a DBS might offer. These include:
You should discuss the benefits and risks of deep brain stimulation with your neurosurgeon to understand if the procedure is right for you.
(II). Cost of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s
Cost is another major factor that you should consider. Usually, the cost of DBS for Parkinson’s will depend on various factors such as the experience of your
neurosurgeon, the reputation of the hospital where you will receive the surgery, and the country. You should talk to your insurance provider to find out if DBS surgery would be covered.
(III). Recovering from DBS for Parkinson’s
The amount of time it will take for you to recover from a surgery like DBS is also important, especially if you are a parent. Usually, people take weeks to recover from a DBS surgery. However, the exact amount of time it requires can be best told by your neurosurgeon as this can vary based on your overall health and personal conditions. It is crucial to discuss with them how long it takes to see the effects of the procedure on your symptoms.
It is important that you evaluate the above-mentioned factors when considering deep brain stimulation for your Parkinson’s as making an informed healthcare decision leads to better outcomes.
Finding The Right Specialist For Your DBS Surgery For Parkinson’S
To ensure that a DBS surgery is effective, you should receive treatment from a qualified and well-trained neurosurgeon. You can find such experts by talking to your family and friends. In fact, you can read reviews online to search for the best neurosurgeon in your area. MediGence connects with you expert neurosurgeons from different parts of the world with telemedicine. We can also assist you with medical travel if you are thinking about traveling to another country for DBS surgery.
Avail DBS Treatment Across the World
Though it is not a cure, Deep brain stimulation offers several benefits to a Parkinson’s patient. Thus, it is an option worth considering. Talk to a neurosurgeon to find out if it will be beneficial for you.