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JFK’s Leadership In Neuroscience Extended By Deep Brain Stimulation Program

 

Movement disorders can develop slowly or suddenly, and are characterized by uncontrollable body movements, lack of coordination, muscle tightness, or increasing difficulty walking or using hands. These disorders can be debilitating for a patient, preventing them from being in control of their bodies and their lives. Movement disorders are prevalent with Parkinson's disease, which is the second only to Alzheimer's disease as the most common progressive neurodegenerative disease, and as Parkinson's patients are being diagnosed earlier, is no longer seen as a disease of the elderly.

Many of these movement disorders can be hard to control with medications. For example, of all the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, tremors are the most difficult to manage through medications alone. In addition, medication for such tremors can have significant side effects. That is when JFK's Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) practice comes into play, providing an effective alternative to such medications.

How We Conduct Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical procedure in which the team inserts a hair-thin insulated wire in the area of the brain that controls abnormal movement. This wire connects to a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device call a neurostimulator. The neurostimulator delivers electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking abnormal nerve signals that cause tremors and Parkinson's disease symptoms. By using a magnetic resonance image (MRI) taken of the patient's brain before surgery, together with a special computer, the surgical team is able to identify a safe path through the brain and guide the wire to the precise target in the brain where the nerve signals generate the movement symptoms.

A Safe and Successful Option for Treating Movement Disorders

Deep Brain Stimulation is not a new procedure; it is FDA-approved and has a demonstrated record of success, particularly with Parkinson's disease-related movement disorders. As the patients with movement disorder symptoms are identified at earlier ages, DBS as conducted with the practiced hands of the JFK Neuroscience surgeons will likely be seen as a better alternative to medicine regimens of potentially longer and longer durations.