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 Am I a Candidate for DBS?

Am I a Candidate for DBS?

DBS is a leading-edge surgical procedure that can improve the quality of life and decrease physical disability for persons suffering from symptoms due to specific neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Conditions Treated by DBS

DBS for essential tremor is for patients with persistent and severe tremor who are not receiving significant benefit from medications and/or who have severe side effects from medications.

DBS for Parkinson's disease is for patients with:

  • Debilitating hand and/or leg tremor that fails to respond to medications
  • Idiopathic Parkinson's disease with intolerance to medication
  • Problematic uncontrollable motor fluctuations including excessive involuntary movements (dyskinesia) and/or frequent end of dose wearing off

DBS for dystonia is considered when a person has significant debilitating symptoms of primary dystonia and failed to respond to oral medication, botulinum toxin therapy, and other treatment modalities.

DBS for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is considered an option if the OCD symptoms are severe and medication and cognitive behavior therapies are proven not to provide relief.

Is DBS for Me?

Each patient who is referred to Ohio State Medical Center’s Center for Neuromodulation for a DBS consultation will be scheduled for a comprehensive screening and evaluation by our multidisciplinary team to determine the likelihood of a successful response. Here are the steps involved in the screening and evaluation:
  • This will include detailed evaluation with a movement disorder neurologist or psychiatrist, and functional neurosurgeon to assess various aspects of your disease, symptoms, progression, previous treatments and overall health.
  • You will have brain imaging performed and reviewed by our neuroradiologist.
  • You will have comprehensive evaluation by a neuropsychologist. The neuropsychological testing helps in understanding your cognitive (thinking, memory, concentration, attention) status and provides a baseline for the team to monitor you over time.
  • Our team has a detailed discussion with you and your family about surgery goals, expectations, benefits and side effects.
  • Once these evaluations are completed, the team discusses your case at a patient management conference. During this conference, a final recommendation by the entire team is made regarding surgery and other therapies such as further medication adjustments and an individual rehabilitation program.

Our team-oriented approach applies to all aspects of your care through the initial evaluation, surgery, postoperative care and rehabilitation. Our goal is to work closely with you, family members, caregivers and your referring physicians to develop a comprehensive and holistic care plan.

Managing Expectations

If you are considering DBS, it is important to have realistic expectations about what symptoms may or may not improve. Additionally, your family and support structure needs to be in place to help you with follow-up care and appointments. The decision about whether or not to pursue DBS is difficult, and it is helpful to seek guidance from a team of experts in neurosurgery, neurology and psychiatry who have experience with DBS therapy.

What Are the Risks Associated With This Procedure?

No surgery is without risks. The DBS risks include possible bleeding, stroke, infection, device-related problems and the general risk of anesthesia. In our program, we are very thorough in providing you and your family with detailed information about potential risks and benefits so that you can make a clear and informed decision about surgery.

Learn More

Your physician and other care providers may be able to help determine if you would benefit from a referral to our Center for Neuromodulation. Please contact your current healthcare provider for an initial evaluation. Learn more about the steps to being a candidate for SCS.

If you need further assistance or would like to learn more about deep brain stimulation, please contact the Center for Neuromodulation patient coordinator at 855-255-0550.

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