Patients with Parkinson’s disease who undergo deep brain stimulation ( DBS ), a treatment in which a pacemaker-like device sends pulses to electrodes implanted in the brain, can expect stable improvements in muscle symptoms for at least three years, according to a study by the VA and appearing in the most recent issue of “Neurology."
In DBS, surgeons implant electrodes in the brain and run thin wires under the skin to a pacemaker-like device placed at one of two locations in the brain. Electrical pulses from the battery operated device jam the brain signals that cause muscle related symptoms. Thousands of Americans have seen successful results from the procedure since it was first introduced in the late 1990’s. However, questions have remained about which stimulation site in the brain yields better outcomes and over how many years the gains persist.
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