Most patients experience relief in symptoms like slowness, rigidity, and tremor, which leads to a reduction in medication and long-term side effects like dyskinesias (involuntary and abnormal movements). Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been proven to deliver better long-term results for symptom management than medication alone.
Depending on the specific symptoms you want to treat, your surgeon will place electrodes in appropriate areas of the brain. The electrodes are delivered through small holes made in the top of the skull. They will then be connected by wires set below the skin to a battery-powered stimulator in your chest. From there, when the stimulator is turned on, electrical pulses can stop the nerve signals that cause the unwanted symptoms, including tremors, rigidity, impaired posture, and others.
AHN neurosurgeons are skilled and experienced in treating Parkinson’s disease with deep brain stimulation. Donald Whiting, MD, was the first neurosurgeon in Allegheny County to perform the procedure and has provided relief to more than 900 patients so far.