DBS for Parkinson’s Disease – Realistic expectations.

1) It is not magic

DBS is not a magic solution or a miracle cure.

2) Expected benefits

It leads to increased ON-time (4-6 hours on average) and decreased severity of symptoms during the OFF time.

However, even after DBS many patients will still experience fluctuations and OFF-times.

3) Non-motor benefits

DBS may also cause improvements in non-motor symptoms such as improving the quality of your sleep.

4) Some symptoms do not improve

DBS does not improve all symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Some symptoms, such as unsteadiness do not respond to DBS treatment.

Other symptoms such as freezing while walking, may show variable improvement.

5) You will need to keep taking medications

You will need to take some medications even after DBS.

The doses of medications after GPi-DBS may remain the same, or may even increase. Medication doses can be reduced after STN-DBS, but this is done carefully and gradually over 3-6 months.

6) DBS programming takes some time

DBS Programming can take many months to complete. During this time, you can expect a gradual recovery of motor function.

However, finding the optimum parameters for the maximal benefit can take up to 6 months.

7) Few people may not improve

Most patients improve after DBS surgery. Some patients do not show adequate improvement even if the electrode is properly positioned, and the programming is done correctly.

This lack of response in some patients happens in all institutions throughout the world. Some, but not all, of these patients may show improvement after advanced programming techniques.

The exact reason why some people do not respond adequately is not known.


Caution:
This information is for educational purposes. It is not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis & treatment. Do not change your medications, supplements or other treatments without your doctor's permission.

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Dr. Siddharth Kharkar

Dr. Siddharth Kharkar is a board certified (American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology certified) Neurologist. He is a Epilepsy specialist & Parkinson's specialist in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

He has trained in the best institutions in India, US and UK including KEM hospital in Mumbai, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), USA & Kings College in London.

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