PdCure.org

  Providing resources and ideas for cures for Parkinson's disease:

 

Surgical Treatments for Parkinson's Disease:

The following are surgical options available for Parkinson's patients. None are cures, nor do they halt the progression of the disease but they do address the symptoms.

Deep Brain Stimulation:

This surgical procedure embeds wires deep into the brain to connect an electrical power source to provide impulses to activate two basal ganglia regions of the brain (thalamus, subthalamic nucleus or globus pallidus) to improve motor symptoms such as tremors and dyskinesia. Inserting and targeting of the wire electrodes is planed using an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan along with recordings of regions of the brain thought to be causing the problems. The impulse generator (neurostimulator) and battery are surgically implanted (typically under the collar bone or in the abdomen) as well. A controller is available to the patient so that it can be turned on or off. This surgery is typically reserved for those with advanced progression of Parkinson's Disease whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) treats the patient by interrupting problematic electrical brain signals from the targeted area of the brain that are causing Parkinson's symptoms such as tremors. A successful surgery is usually followed by a reduction of medication and the medication side-effects.

Pallidotomy:

Pallidotomy surgery seeks to damage an overactive globus pallidus to lessen the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (tremor, bradykinesia, and balance problems).

Thalamotomy:

Pallidotomy surgery seeks to damage an overactive thalamus to control the brain signals causing tremors. It is not often recommended for Parkinson's as it only affects tremors.


Pros:
  • Potential to alleviate Parkinson's symptoms and reduce medication, thus reducing the side-effects of the medication (typically LDOPA dyskinesia and hallucinations).

Cons:
  • Brain surgery has risk for infection, hemorrhaging, etc