The Parkinson's Appeal for Deep Brain Stimulation

CONDITIONS TREATABLE BY DBS

  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Dystonia
  • Tremor
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Depression

Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition affecting movements such as walking, talking, and writing. It is named after Dr James Parkinson (1755-1824), the London doctor who first identified Parkinson's as a specific condition.

Dystonia
Dystonia is the term used to describe a condition dominated by involuntary sustained muscle spasms. These spasms can affect various parts of the body and cause abnormal movements and postures, and can be extremely painful.

The condition is thought to be caused by a malfunction of the central nervous system, probably in those parts of the brain called the basal ganglia. There is some evidence that there may be a malfunction in the way 'sensory' signals are interpreted in the brain, and how 'motor' signals are instigated.  

Essential Tremor
Essential tremor is a common movement disorder that usually affects the head, chin, outstretched hands or voice. This disease causes tremor that is disabling in some. The cause of essential tremor is unknown, although it does run in some families.

Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a physical condition that starts in the brain. It is a symptom that the way a person's brain works is sometimes disrupted. When this happens, a person may suddenly have a seizure. Many people will have a single seizure at some time in their lives, but this does not mean that they have epilepsy. If a person has epilepsy it means they have had more than one seizure that began in the brain.

Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is another common disease and tends to begin in young adulthood. Multiple sclerosis can affect any part of the central nervous system. When it affects the cerebellum or the cerebellum's connections to other parts of the brain, severe tremor can result.

Tourette Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder with a strong genetic component and onset in childhood. It is characterised by multiple motor and phonic tics: Motor tics are difficult-to-control movements or 'part behaviours' that usually take the form of twitches or nods, but can manifest as complex or sudden painful movements of limbs and neck. Phonic tics are often short vocalised noises or sniffs, but present in a more complex manner, such as repeated words. Only a small minority of people ever develop involuntary swearing.  Tourette Syndrome may affect up to 1 in 100 children, yet the degree of severity varies greatly between people.  Symptoms may persist throughout adulthood.

While some medicines are effective in controlling tics, they are not always the answer and may not work for everyone.  People with Tourette Syndrome may be subject to marked social stigmatization and quality of life may be severely affected by severe symptoms and associated problems.

Depression
Clinical depression strikes one in five people at some point, and about two million people in Britain are thought to suffer it at any The symptoms vary from person to person, but if you feel "down" for more than two weeks, and these feelings are interfering with your daily life, you may be clinically depressed.

 

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PATIENTS' STORIES
Read about the experiences of people suffering from Parkinson's Disease and other neurological conditions >>
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