Deep brain stimulation can help reduce the abnormal brain signals that cause many Parkinson's disease symptoms, according to M Health Fairview Neurosurgeon Michael C. Park, MD, PhD (MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Scholar). Dr. Park oversees and conducts a procedure called deep brain stimulation, also known as neuromodulation. During the procedure, surgeons implant an electrode inside the brain of patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, or other neurological disorders such as epilepsy and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The electrode is connected by wire to a pacemaker-like device implanted in the patient’s chest. This device can then deliver electrical stimulation to regulate abnormal electrical signals originating in the brain.
The procedure is effective at relieving the debilitating tremors, slowed movement, and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But only if that electrode is placed in exactly the right spot—within a half-millimeter of a pea-sized target within the brain.
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