Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015

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Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center
McNair Campus
7200 Cambridge St.
1st Floor, Conference Rooms A&B
Houston, Texas 77030

Sponsored by

Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic

Target Audience

Patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.


Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease (PD) is a well-established treatment option when complications of PD treatment become problematic. These complications include motor fluctuations (feeling that the medications are lasting for a short period of time before the effects wear off) and dyskinesias (involuntary movements most often related to having a high level of medications in the body). Another reason for DBS in PD relates to tremor that is not well controlled despite multiple medications.

There is a "window of opportunity" for DBS treatment, and it is important to understand where you fall within that window when considering surgery. The window tends to close if there are symptoms present that no longer respond well to medications, or advanced symptoms such as cognitive or emotional problems are present.

At the PDCMDC, our DBS team performs comprehensive evaluations to determine if someone is a good candidate for DBS. These assessments include:

You may want to talk to your doctor about DBS treatment if you are experiencing the following problems:

  • Medications kicking in and wearing off
  • Involuntary movements that occur after taking a dose of medications
  • Tremor that is not completely controlled by medicines
  1. Motor examination of PD symptoms both "off" and "on" medications — This is done in order to gain a better understanding of which motor symptoms do or don't improve with medications, to help guide patient expectations of outcomes after DBS, and to ensure that DBS really does have some benefit to offer an individual
  2. Neuropsychological evaluation — This testing is done in order to gain a better understanding of a patient's baseline thinking skills and emotional state; these features may need to be better addressed before having surgery.
  3. DBS consensus meeting — Each DBS candidate is reviewed by the team of neurologists, neuropsychologists and neurosurgeon to determine whether DBS is an appropriate choice, and recommend which part of the brain is the safest to stimulate to control symptoms.

Our DBS program focuses on patient care and research. We collaborate with researchers at the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Houston to investigate the brain activity patterns present in patients with movement disorders, to determine how these relate to symptoms, and can be changed in response to stimulation. These investigations will help improve the delivery of DBS therapy in the future.


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