Improving symptoms of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is like a pacemaker for the brain. The tiny device is implanted by the specialized neurosurgeons at Inova Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Center and then programmed by our movement disorders specialists. The device delivers a carefully controlled stimulation of electricity to precisely targeted areas. The electric stimulation interrupts the brain's faulty signals and provides measurable relief to symptoms, allowing for a significant reduction in medications and an improvement in quality of life.

Am I a Candidate For DBS?

For Parkinson's Disease

If you have Parkinson's disease and meet the following criteria, DBS may be the right treatment option for you:

  • Experiencing moderate to severe symptoms
  • Fluctuations in symptoms during the day or side effects to the medication
  • Cognitively intact (no sign of dementia)
  • Overall healthy

For Essential Tremor or Dystonia

If you have essential tremor or dystonia and meet the following criteria, DBS may be right for you:

  • Moderate to severe symptoms or symptoms that are not adequately controlled with medication
  • Symptoms affecting daily activities such as eating, drinking, dressing or others
  • Cognitively intact (no sign of dementia)
  • Overall healthy

It is important to consider DBS before your disease is advanced. A consultation with a movement disorders specialist can help you understand the risks and benefits and determine whether you are a good candidate.

Adaptable to Meet Changing Needs

As your disease changes over time, the DBS device can be adjusted to better address new or increasing symptoms. Should new technology, procedures or treatments for Parkinson's disease be developed in the future, the device is also removable with little or no tissue damage.

Process for Implantation

Getting a DBS device is completed in three stages and usually occurs over a six-week period.

  • Implantation of the electrodes in our state-of-the-art surgical suite
  • Implantation of the neurostimulator
  • Programming of the device by our specialists

Deep Brain Stimulation: Patient Success Stories

man driving a car
Wayne's Story: Deep Brain Stimulation
women smiling holding a quilt
Karen's Story: Able to Sew Again
man playing guitar
Bill's Journey: Bringing Talent Back Through DBS

Success Rates for Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment

With proper screening and programming, DBS boasts on average:

Parkinson's Disease

  • 80 to 90 percent of improvement to patient scores
  • 60 percent reduction in medications
  • 60 percent reduction in dyskinesias
  • 80 percent improvement in "off" periods
  • 10 percent improvement in "on" periods

Essential Tremor

  • 80 percent improvement in tremor
  • 70 percent improvement in handwriting
  • Significant reduction in medications

Contact Us

For more information about deep brain stimulation, call 703-845-1500.

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