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Procedures

Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS)

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease for patients who do not respond to medication. This treatment option inactivates the parts of the brain that trigger the disease without destroying nearby brain tissue.

During the DBS procedure, a small device called a neurostimulator is implanted under the skin of the chest. This battery-operated device is similar to a pacemaker for the heart and is designed to deliver electrical stimulation to the areas of the brain that control movement in order to prevent tremors and other symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The device is connected to electrodes that are placed in the brain in order to directly deliver the electrical signals.

The areas in the brain where electrodes are to be placed are targeted before the procedure with the use of MRI or CT scanning. For most patients, the electrodes will be placed on the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus and globus pallidus.

After the DBS procedure has been performed, most patients experience significant symptom relief. They may still need to take medication to treat the disease, but in some cases the dosage can be reduced due to the DBS procedure. Dosage reduction also helps reduce the occurrence of side effects and can lead to an overall higher quality of life for patients with Parkinson's disease.

EEG

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a diagnostic test that measures the electrical activity of the brain in order to detect and evaluate neurological conditions such as seizures, epilepsy, and dementia, as well to determine the rate of recovery for patients who are unconscious or in a coma.

During the EEG procedure, electrodes are placed on the head to record the electrical activity in the brain, which is interpreted by Dr. Aubrechtova. Patients will be asked to breathe deeply, look at bright, flashing lights or go to sleep in order for the doctor to collect a range of brain activity. Brain activity is produced as a series of wavy lines that are analyzed by the doctor. This test takes one to two hours to perform; some patients may be asked not to eat, drink or sleep for several hours before their exam.

There is a small risk that this procedure may trigger a seizure in patients with epilepsy, but this risk is considered small and can be adequately handled by your doctor if it does occur. There is no pain associated with the EEG procedure.

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