With medical innovations happening every day, Deep Brain Stimulation is nothing short of a miraculous procedure for those suffering from movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. Although it doesn’t guarantee absolute cure from these ailments, it definitely gives therapeutic benefits to medicine-resistant disorders such as chronic pain, severe depression, Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery involves three components which need to be surgically implanted inside the skull under the administration of anesthesia. The implanted pulse generator (IPG) is encased in titanium and is the neuro-stimulator that sends electric pulses to the brain at the targeted site. The lead is connected to IPG with an extension wire that runs subcutaneously.
The leads are placed in the brain after a study of the patient’s symptoms. The IPG is attuned by a neurologist, nurse, or trained technician to elevate symptom suppression and control side-effects. However, since the effects of DBS are reversible, it is one of the very few neurosurgical methods that are permitted for blind studies, wherein the patient isn’t instructed on the anticipated output; thereby eliminating any bias until the actual output is known.
As a neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s shows up with primary symptoms of tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. For patients suffering from acute symptoms that are unmanageable by medicines, DBS helps manage some of these symptoms and offers improved quality of life.
DBS offers a promising approach to treating chronic pains such as phantom limb pain and some respite to patients battling cancer. Investigative research is still in progress in this direction.
Clinical trials have shown DBS to help treatment-resistant depression. While the outcome can be much better than antidepressants and has shown a positive response, the side effects need to be evaluated completely before opting for this.
Tourette, a common neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in childhood has been experimentally treated with DBS. Although the exact origin of this ailment is unknown, genetics and environmental factors are believed to contribute to it. When it comes to treating Tourette with DBS, research is still being done to measure if the benefits of DBS outweigh the risks involved.
Despite years of research, the exact mechanism of DBS process isn’t completely known. While DBS can offer an improved lifestyle and relief from heavy medication to some patients, it also carries a potential for neuropsychiatric side-effects, such as apathy, hallucinations, hyper sexuality and euphoria. However, these side effects are potentially reversible.
The electrodes can dislodge or displace from the specific location due to the shifting of brain. While CT can detect such complications, the side effects of such issues quite serious such as personality changes. Since it is an invasive process, there is the risk of infection and bleeding during and after a surgery. There is also the risk of the body rejecting the implant altogether.
Many leading medical organizations offer surgery packages for DBS. These typically include the stay, nutrition and diet management, implant costs, surgeon’s fee and sometimes some follow up consultation fee as well.
DBS surgery in Mumbai is now being offered by many renowned names such as Apollo Hospitals and Seven Hills, as well as private hospitals such as Jaslok Hospital which are also actively researching this procedure.2017-11-23