What a Patient needs to Know About Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, a surgical therapy that involves the implantation of stimulating electrodes into select targets of the brain. These electrodes are used to interrupt faulty communication between brain regions that result in the disabling symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Why the UF Center For Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration for DBS?

The University of Florida (UF) Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration is an international leader in the use of DBS implants for treating Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. We have performed more DBS procedures annually than most medical centers in the United States. The program is supported by the National Institutes of Health and several other funding agencies, and performs cutting edge research. The FDA has approved DBS for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor, and certain Dystonias. Use of DBS in other disorders is an active area of research here at UF (Tourette, OCD, Depression, others).

How does DBS work?

Understanding DBS for Parkinson’s disease requires a look at certain parts of the brain. Like electrical wiring in an appliance, if one or more circuits fails, the machine malfunctions or stops working. Research has shown that in Parkinson’s disease, there are faulty “circuits” that send abnormal signals to certain brain regions that result in disease symptoms. Interrupting these faulty signals using DBS improves symptoms in select cases. DBS is thus said to modulate neuronal circuits, but its exact mechanism of action remains unclear.

For more information please see the Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration.