Deep Brain Stimulation Details
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a medical procedure in which electrodes capable of generating electrical pulses are surgically implanted in specific regions of the brain to alleviate the symptoms of certain neurological disorders. Patients typically receive this treatment to improve tremors and other movement-related symptoms typical of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette’s syndrome but DBS is also being used to assuage mood-related symptoms seen in major depression. Additionally, DBS may also have some use in relieving chronic pain. The DBS apparatus contains three distinct pieces: the actual implanted electrodes, the pulse generator, and the insulated wire that connects the two. The pulse generator is typically implanted underneath the skin in the area near the clavicle of the patient and is the origin of the electrical pulses. These pulses travel through the wire and are released at the brain implantation site of the electrodes. Although the pulse generator is made to constantly send out pulses, the patient is able to turn them on and off at will via a special remote control.