Deep Brain Stimulation, has proved to be a ray of hope for patients who have Parkinson's disease, a debilitating neurodegenerative condition that affects motor functions, giving rise to symptoms like tremors, rigidity, loss of balance and bradykinesia. People with Parkinson's disease have to face many challenges regularly, especially while indulging in normal day-to-day activities. As the condition is progressive, the symptoms tend to worsen, making it more challenging to cope with the complications. Parkinson's cannot be cured; however, deep brain stimulation has proved to be a boon for such patients as the procedure can help to significantly alleviate the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. In this blog, we have elaborated on the role of Deep Brain Stimulation in managing Parkinson's disease with the help of experts from a leading hospital in Gurugram.
Parkinson's is a serious condition marked by the progressive deterioration of a person's brain function, initially starting with mild tremors. The condition has been linked with age-related degeneration, which primarily affects motor functions. However, this does not mean that younger people are entirely immune to it. Experts from the top neurosurgery hospital in Gurugram suggest that the condition can also be seen in people in their 20s, but the chances are extremely rare. The condition is quite common, affecting more than 10 million lives across the globe. In fact, it tops the list of the most common movement-related diseases.
How Parkinson's affects you?
While many people think that the condition only has a physical impact, the reality is that it can also affect the patient's thinking ability and mental capacity. Parkinson's results from the degeneration of a particular area of the brain, known as basal ganglia, which plays a crucial role in regulating our motor functions and coordinating various movements. Parkinson's causes the brain cells to die, thereby drastically affecting the production of dopamine, an important chemical messenger that helps transmit signals between different areas of the brain. The decreased dopamine levels make it difficult to transmit the signals, resulting in tremors and slowing down movement or bradykinesia.
Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's
It is a highly preferred treatment option for patients with Parkinson's. The technique works by the controlled stimulation of certain areas of the brain to restore the flow of signals. It is pertinent to understand that deep brain stimulation does not cure the condition, but works to alleviate the symptoms, giving the patient a chance at a better life. This procedure is not an option for everyone and is only recommended for patients who have been living with the condition for at least four years. It mainly focuses on motor symptoms and does not improve non-motor symptoms.
You will only be recommended for the procedure if your doctor has thoroughly assessed you. Having realistic expectations and understanding that the procedure does not work overnight is important. It may take a couple of months for the results to be evident.
Deep Brain Simulation involves two different procedures performed simultaneously under the influence of anaesthesia. The first one is brain surgery, in which doctors generally perform an awake craniotomy to implant electrodes in concerned areas of the brain using precise neuroimaging techniques. Doctors may also opt for conventional surgery, depending on the specific requirements of the patient.
The 2nd surgery is performed near the patient's collarbone to implant the pulse generator, which is then connected to the electrodes implanted in the brain using insulated leads.
The pulse generator generates electrical impulses which travel via the leads to the electrodes and help to stimulate the areas where they have been implanted. These can be controlled with the help of a special remote. This way, Deep Brain Stimulation helps deliver controlled electrical pulses to the affected brain areas and improves electrical signals' conductivity.
Want to know if deep brain stimulation is an option for you? Consult India's top neurosurgeons in Gurugram.
Dr. Sunil Singla,
Director and HOD, Neurology,
Sanar International Hospitals, Gurugram