Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder which lasts life-long. No cure for the disease has been found yet, but it can be treated effectively to slow down the progression of symptoms. Parkinson’s Disease patients start off with best medication therapy based on their own condition. As the disease progresses, oral medications might not be as effective or may start showing side effects. At this time, your neurologist might recommend Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical procedure in which electrodes are implanted in the subthalamus part of the brain which is connected to a pacemaker like device implanted under chest skin. However, Deep Brain Stimulation is not ideal for every Parkinson’s Disease patient. Consult your medical professional to find out if you are ready to take Deep Brain Stimulation treatment.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has been proven to be better than best medication therapy especially in people who are in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s Disease and/or experience lower effects from medications.
Benefits Of Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep Brain Stimulation has multiple benefits for Parkinson’s Disease patients which help them get back to their normal life, deal better with their symptoms and some studies have shown it to also reduce the progression of the disease.
Parkinson’s Disease is a movement disorder in which symptoms like shaking, freezing and difficulty in movement are quite common. DBS has been marked and approved by the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Patients who take Deep Brain Stimulation treatment experience less symptoms and can move around better. DBS users benefit by getting up to 5 additional hours of improved movement control quality and works day and night.
Deep Brain Stimulation is used along with medications to help improve their effects and provide smoother gaps between doses. DBS therapy helps patients reduce complications of best medication therapy including Dyskinesia and fluctuations of symptoms in “ON” and “OFF” phase. A study noted that 71% of people experienced significant improvements in the motor functions while 32% of patients benefitted from medications alone. Without DBS, Parkinson’s Disease patients who undergo best medical therapy experience between 5.4% reduction to 13% increase in their drug-related complications with the baseline.
Parkinson’s Disease treatment using medications involves a combination of drugs based on each patient’s individual condition. The prolonged use of medications may increase drug related complications. Gradually, the effectiveness of medications also reduced due to which patients need to take higher doses and in increased frequency. Deep Brain Stimulation effectively reduces the need to take medications and helps the patients deal with complications and drug related side effects better. Patients who undergo DBS therapy can reduce their medication intake up to 50%.
Quality of Life
According to a Parkinson’s Disease questionnaire PDQ-39, 75% of Parkinson’s Disease patients prefer Deep Brain Stimulation over medication therapy mainly due to improvement in their quality of life. With fewer amounts of symptoms and increased independence in doing their everyday tasks, the number of people looking to choose DBS is increasing dramatically. DBS therapy can improve the quality of life by 13% to 26% as compared to medications alone. It helps them gain confidence in self reliance and reduces the chances of depression and anxiety, if caused due to the psychological effects of Parkinson’s Disease.
Deep Brain Stimulation treatment helps Parkinson’s Disease patients become more independent in doing their daily tasks, managing medication, doctor visits, personal planning and even heavier tasks like driving. With the long lasting and efficient battery life of DBS device, patients get the freedom to travel without any complications. Tasks like drinking, eating, swallowing, writing, getting dressed and bathing which are essentials for a person become quite difficult for Parkinson’s Disease patients and DBS can be the best solution to all of these.
The device itself comes with many features which helps patients in managing their treatment better. Deep Brain Stimulation is a one-time surgery and does not require incisions except for extreme complications. As the disease progresses, the electrical stimulation can be adjusted without any further surgery. A DBS device works continuously every day with minimal maintenance. It does not require any cleaning, refilling or any other maintenance and can be maintained or repaired by your medical professional easily too. With advancement in technology, rechargeable batteries are also available now so that battery change costs can be saved.
Compliments Other Therapies
It is best to go for physical therapies and exercises along with medication to treat Parkinson’s Disease symptoms better and slow down the disease progression. Deep Brain Stimulation therapy acts as a catalyst for other therapies that treat Parkinson’s Disease like dance therapy, meditation, yoga and art therapy. With improved control over motor movements and increased time gap of around 5-6 hours without any movement symptoms, patients get more time to undergo therapy better resulting in better and faster outcomes from them.
Medications taken over a period of time leave life-long effects on the patients and those effects are usually not reversible. But Deep Brain Stimulation provides patients the advantage of reversibility. Also, a study noted that people who stopped using Deep Brain Stimulation therapy for any reason did not experience any adverse post-treatment complications. DBS therapy is completely reversible except for the scars on the skull and above the pacemaker incision area.
Deep Brain Stimulation or any other treatment for Parkinson’s Disease is limited to the experience of each individual and should not be relied to provide the same output for others too. All the content provided on the website is for informational purpose only and should not be taken as a medical advice. It is recommended to consult your medical professional before taking any steps on the provided information.