DBS: recent updates

Dr. Burchiel, in the latest volume of The Journal of Neurosurgery (June 2013), reports recent successes in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) where 60 patients are asleep during the surgery, instead of awake under local anaesthetics.
DBS surgery was first developed in France in 1987. Dr. Burchiel was the first surgeon in North America to perform the surgery in 1991. It wasn’t until 2002 that the surgery was approved for tremors associated with parkinson’s disease.
During DBS, thin wire electrodes are implanted into a specific area of the brain, and are connected to something like a pacemaker implanted in the chest. The system then stimulates the brain and relieves some of the parkinsonian symptoms. Typically, DBS patients are awake during the 4-6 hour surgery. This allowed surgeons to monitor symptoms and get feedback about electrode placement.

These new technique proposed by Dr. Burchiel and colleagues uses MRI of the patient’s brain before the surgery and CT scans during the surgery  to precisely place the electrodes in the brain. This may extend the benefits of DBS to a greater proportion of the Parkinson’s patient population, who may have been unwilling to undergo the lengthy surgery awake.

… have you had any experiences with DBS? or suffer any fears of the procedure (being AWAKE, OFF-meds!)? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if this new technique changes your ideas on DBS! much love.

PS Have you seen this BBS video with a guy playing guitar during his DBS? VERY COOL!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRwB9pbld7s&w=560&h=315]


Kim J. Burchiel, Shirley McCartney, Albert Lee, Ahmed M. Raslan. Accuracy of deep brain stimulation electrode placement using intraoperative computed tomography without microelectrode recordingJournal of Neurosurgery, 2013; : 1 DOI: 10.3171/2013.4.JNS122324

Oregon Health & Science University (2013, June 5). New technique for deep brain stimulation surgery proves accurate and safe. ScienceDaily

BBC video:  m.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22667597

0 thoughts on “DBS: recent updates

  1. prewitt1970

    DBS has been proposed to me many times and is still a very realistic option for me due to my young age. I think any advancement in the process is a great thing. I’ve seen some great results from this procedure.
    Happy Tuesday.
    “Keep moving forward”

  2. db4pws

    Kaiser Permanente, Rewood City, California prefers the long surgery where the patient is awake for some convincing reasons. I’m about to have DBS and my neurosurgeon-to-be, Dr. Mark Sedrak won my confidence with his description of the Kaiser philosophy behind DBS surgery. “For us, it is all about precision,” said Dr. Sedrak. Their procedure is not the fastest method, and the patient remains semi-awake, but due to those aspects of the surgery, the neurosurgeon is able to take time to utilize several different kinds of surgical crosschecks to make sure that the target in the brain is met with accuracy. He has done hundreds of DBS surgeries, and he has had few problematic cases. He said that relying on the MRI scan alone without other feedback isn’t as accurate as he able to be with his technique. For more information, check out an article by Dr. Sedrak on my blog.



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