What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

Category: Equipment

Most popular types: Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation Pallidal Deep Brain Stimulation Thalamic Deep Brain Stimulation

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical treatment which stimulates the brain with mild electrical signals. DBS is used to treat tremor and other motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. DBS has been applied to the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus and the pallidum areas of the brain.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Parkinson's disease 337 185
Jerky movements 25 14
Stiffness/spasticity 23 12
Tremor(s) 9 13
Dystonia 8 4
Disordered muscle tension (dystonia) 4 3

Show all 34 reasons taken


  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 8
Moderate 31
Mild 76
None 92

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Deep Brain Stimulation

Side effect Patients
Balance problems 14
Speech problems 10
Jerky movements 7
Weight gain 7
Depressed mood 4
Headaches 4

Show all 95 reported side effects

Dosages

Based on patients currently using Deep Brain Stimulation

Dosage Patients
daily 61
as needed 5
one time 5
all the time (24/7) 2
1 other daily 1
five times daily 1
m,w,f 1

Why patients stopped taking Deep Brain Stimulation

Multiple reasons could be selected

Reason Patients
Other 7
Did not seem to work 3
Doctor's advice 2
Side effects too severe 2
Course of treatment ended 1
Expense 1
See all 100 patients who've stopped using Deep Brain Stimulation

Duration

Currently using Deep Brain Stimulation

Duration Patients
Less than 1 month 1
1 - 6 months 2
6 months - 1 year 1
1 - 2 years 7
2 - 5 years 29
5 - 10 years 28
10 years or more 12

Stopped using Deep Brain Stimulation

Duration Patients
Less than 1 month 88
1 - 6 months 2
6 months - 1 year 5
1 - 2 years 2
2 - 5 years 2
5 - 10 years 1
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations
Always 188
Usually 8
Sometimes 4
Never taken as prescribed 7
Burden
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 7
Somewhat hard to take 19
A little hard to take 41
Not at all hard to take 140
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 22
$100-199 2
$50-99 0
$25-49 4
< $25 73
Not specified 106

What people switch to and from

Patients started using Deep Brain Stimulation after stopping:

Treatment Patients
Carbidopa-Levodopa (Sinemet) 1
Entacapone (Comtan) 1
Ropinirole (Requip) 1
Selegiline (Zelapar) 1
Last updated:

28 patient evaluations for Deep Brain Stimulation

Apr 13, 2018 (Started Dec 15, 2016)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Parkinson's disease)
  • Side effects
    Mild (walking slower, balance problems)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: My dynamic balance is probably better than before (I can stand on one foot on a wobble board or bosu ball fairly well - my ankle wobbles around but I don't fall) my static balance is still worse - i have trouble standing on one foot on the floor and holding still)
Cost: < $25 monthly

Apr 15, 2017 (Started Dec 15, 2016)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Parkinson's disease)
  • Side effects
    Mild (walking slower, balance problems)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: My balance is a little worse than before; I walk a little slower than my best on days; my speech is actually a little better than before. See https://www.patientslikeme.com/forum/pd/topics/147582?page=1&post_id=2369462#post-2369462 for details. My out of pocket costs were around a thousand dollars. The total cost (most of which was paid by medicare) was about $150,000!
Cost: < $25 monthly

  • 1 helpful mark

Oct 30, 2017 (Started Feb 01, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for on to off fluctuations worsening)
  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Parkinson's disease)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: My DBS operation was in 2010 at the University of Cincinnati Hospital, Dr. Mandybur with the Mayfield Clinic. DBS is critical for me to live a more normal life!! When I have experienced my DBS being turned off, I can't hardly move, my face becomes a mask, I feel terrible, can't dress my self, etc. If you have had PD for 7 years, I recommend that you definitely should check if you are a candidate for the procedure!! Update: I now go to 7 hours of PD specific exercise classes including 3 hours per week at Rock Steady Boxing for conditioning, weight training and boxing. Exercise is the new medicine for Parkinson's. If you are not involved, get moving. The more we sit around the worse our symptoms will be.

Mar 31, 2016 (Started Feb 01, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Parkinson's disease)
  • Effectiveness
    Major (for on to off fluctuations worsening)
  • Side effects
    Mild (slurred speech)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily

Dec 15, 2015 (Started Feb 01, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Parkinson's disease)
  • Effectiveness
    Major (for on to off fluctuations worsening)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: DBS is critical for me to live a more normal life!! When I have experienced my DBS being turned off, I can't hardly move, my face becomes a mask, I feel terrible, can't dress my self, etc.   If you have had PD for 4-5 years, I recommend that you definitely should check if you are a candidate for the procedure!!

Feb 10, 2010 (Started Feb 01, 2010)

  • Effectiveness
    None (for on to off fluctuations worsening)
  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Parkinson's disease)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    A little hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: Ditto all the above. On April 3rd I need to get my rechargeable Medtronic battery changed after 8 years. The replacement is the same battery that I have had, so the same setting can be used. The rechargeable battery has been great. If I had the regular non-rechargeable battery I probably would have had 4 battery replacements during the last 8 years since I am at a fairly high electric level. I thank God that I have had DBS, it has been life giving for me!! DBS won't be effective or approved but if you have had PD for 3-8 years you should look into it.

  • 3 helpful marks

May 20, 2017 (Started Jan 15, 2016)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for Parkinson's disease)
  • Side effects
    Mild
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: Daily
Advice & Tips: I am sure most people that are contemplating DBS have seen "YouTube" videos on the subject. I watched part of one today and it was totally different than what I experienced as far as the actually surgery was concerned. However, the outcome was just as amazing. Like I have said before, it is not a cure, but it has improved my quality of life tremendously and also helped with the ole pocketbook due to a major decrease in meds.

  • 1 helpful mark
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 28 patient evaluations for Deep Brain Stimulation