Relieving Tremors With Deep Brain Stimulation

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Baptist Health Paducah: Relieving Tremors With Deep Brain Stimulation

Neurologist Joseph Ashburn, MD, and neurosurgeon Thomas Gruber, MD, describe how doctors use deep brain stimulation to relieve tremors in those with Parkinson’s disease and other conditions.

Relieving Tremors With Deep Brain Stimulation HealthTalks Transcript

Joseph C. Ashburn, MD
Deep brain stimulation is new technology, where we can actually put a battery pack in someone’s chest. Then, wires lead up deep into the brain and they actually stimulate an area of the brain, which relieves the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Thomas J. Gruber, MD
Patients with Parkinson’s disease who are functionally impaired by their tremor, or [those with] essential familial tremors, oftentimes are initially managed medically. But there will come a point in these patients’ clinical disease course where, either the medications stop working, or the side effects of the medication become too much for the patient. That’s a patient who should be considered for deep brain stimulation.

Daryl Trout, Cottage Grove, Tennessee
Before the procedure was turned on, it was obvious to me that I was slowing down. Then, when they kicked it on, it reversed it, almost instantly seeing results. It gave me a feeling of firmness that I could control my body a lot better than I did before. I looked at my wife and said “Susie, I feel like I’m an inch taller already.” She said, “Well, you should be because you stopped slouching. Your body has been in a natural upheaval.”

Dr. Gruber
The results are life-changing, with much less medication, once the stimulator is programmed and turned on.