Introduction to Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for Tremor or Dystonia
You have been referred or are considering Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) as a treatment for Tremor or Dystonia. This information leaflet has been written to give you further information on this. You can also get further information from the team.
In the following booklet we use the term “tremor” to include conditions such as Essential Tremor and Dystonic Tremor although we may also consider people with other types of tremor for DBS. We use the term “dystonia” to include various types of dystonia, which may be generalised or more limited to a particular group of muscles.
What is Deep Brain Stimulation?
We can use Deep Brain Stimulation as a treatment for some people with Tremor or Dystonia.
This involves very fine wires with electrodes at their tips being implanted into the brain. The electrodes send a continuous electrical pulse through them to change some of the electrical signals in the brain and reduce the symptoms of tremor or dystonia.
These wires are connected to extensions that are tunnelled under the skin behind the ear and down the neck. They are connected to a pulse generator (a device like a pacemaker) that is placed under the skin in the chest area or stomach area.
You will have sedation, which means you will be asleep during parts of the process. You may be asleep (under general anaesthetic) for the whole operation if you have some types of dystonia.
The neurosurgeons in Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital have been implanting stimulators since 2004.
Images courtesy of Medtronic and Abbott