Deep brain stimulation is a way to inactivate parts of the brain that cause Parkinson’s disease and its associated symptoms without destroying the brain. It involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain.
These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses. Or, the electrical impulses can affect certain cells and chemicals within the brain.
The amount of stimulation in deep brain stimulation is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your upper chest. A wire that travels under your skin connects this device to the electrodes in your brain.
Once activated, the device sends continuous electrical pulses to the target areas in the brain, blocking the impulses that cause tremors. This has the same effect as thalamotomy or pallidotomy surgeries without actually destroying parts of the brain.
- Essential tremor
- Parkinson’s disease
It is also being studied as a treatment for epilepsy, cluster headaches, Tourette syndrome, chronic pain and major depression. Many candidates for deep brain stimulation are participants in clinical trials.