Dr. Burchiel, in the latest volume of The Journal of Neurosurgery (June 2013), reports recent successes in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) where 60 patients are asleep during the surgery, instead of awake under local anaesthetics.
DBS surgery was first developed in France in 1987. Dr. Burchiel was the first surgeon in North America to perform the surgery in 1991. It wasn’t until 2002 that the surgery was approved for tremors associated with parkinson’s disease.
During DBS, thin wire electrodes are implanted into a specific area of the brain, and are connected to something like a pacemaker implanted in the chest. The system then stimulates the brain and relieves some of the parkinsonian symptoms. Typically, DBS patients are awake during the 4-6 hour surgery. This allowed surgeons to monitor symptoms and get feedback about electrode placement.
These new technique proposed by Dr. Burchiel and colleagues uses MRI of the patient’s brain before the surgery and CT scans during the surgery to precisely place the electrodes in the brain. This may extend the benefits of DBS to a greater proportion of the Parkinson’s patient population, who may have been unwilling to undergo the lengthy surgery awake.
… have you had any experiences with DBS? or suffer any fears of the procedure (being AWAKE, OFF-meds!)? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if this new technique changes your ideas on DBS! much love.
PS Have you seen this BBS video with a guy playing guitar during his DBS? VERY COOL!
Kim J. Burchiel, Shirley McCartney, Albert Lee, Ahmed M. Raslan. Accuracy of deep brain stimulation electrode placement using intraoperative computed tomography without microelectrode recording. Journal of Neurosurgery, 2013; : 1 DOI: 10.3171/2013.4.JNS122324
Oregon Health & Science University (2013, June 5). New technique for deep brain stimulation surgery proves accurate and safe. ScienceDaily
BBC video: m.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22667597