Parkinson’s Disease is a life-altering condition. In the past, the belief was those with Parkinson’s would live out their days in agony. But, there is hope with the advancement of technology.
Deep Brain stimulation is an option to help those with Parkinson’s disease live a better quality of life. Here’s how deep brain stimulation works and if you may be a candidate for the treatment.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Several symptoms Characterize Parkinson’s. One of the early signs of Parkinson’s is a tremor or shaking in your hands or fingers.
Other symptoms of Parkinson’s include:
- Slowed movement
- Impaired balance
- Changes in speech
- Changes in writing
Symptoms of Parkinson’s can impact your day-to-day functions, and make tasks difficult.
Risk Factors for Parkinson’s
Experts link Parkinson’s to many causes. For example, genetics plays a role in developing Parkinson’s Disease. But other factors can increase your risk, such as:
- Brain inflammation
- Repeated head trauma
- Exposure to toxins
Conservative Treatment Options for Parkinson’s
While there isn’t yet a cure for Parkinson’s, medical professionals have a few options to treat it. For instance, some medications treat Parkinson’s by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. This treatment method is successful because those with Parkinson’s have lower dopamine levels. Increasing dopamine levels can help with the effects Parkinson’s has on motor functions. But, these medications can start losing their effectiveness with long-term use.
If this happens, other options for treating Parkinson’s involve:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Getting exercise
- Changes in diet
What is Deep Brain Stimulation?
Aggressive treatments are necessary when conservative treatments fail. Deep brain stimulation is an aggressive treatment to help you with Parkinson’s. Deep brain stimulation is a procedure involving placing an electrode into brain tissue. Stimulation from the electrode helps to regulate abnormal impulses in your brain. Controlling these impulses can help motor skills and speech while reducing other symptoms.
Is DBS Right For Me?
Most patients must continue medication after a Deep brain stimulation procedure. But, the long-term prognosis is generally positive. Each case varies, and the nature of your symptoms determines if DBS is the treatment for your needs.
Some guidelines your doctor may consider are:
- If you’ve had Parkinson’s symptoms for over five years
- If medications cannot control tremors on their own
- If Parkinson’s affects your quality of life
- If side effects keep you from taking Parkinson’s medications
If you want to learn more about deep brain stimulation, let us help. Call Texas Neurosurgery at (214) 823-2052 to schedule a consultation.