A movement disorder means that there is abnormal movement or positioning of part of the body due to the nervous system not working properly or an underlying neurological disease. Our team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuropsychologists, and clinical nurse specialists work to provide excellent clinical care to hundreds of patients per year with various movement disorders.
UHealth maintains an active program in surgery for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. Previous surgery and research involved making small lesions in deep areas of the brain, but recently, the work has centered on insertion of devices to provide ongoing electrical stimulation of these deep areas of the brain. Patients who have an inadequate response to medications are evaluated in depth by a team of neurologists and neurosurgeons prior to a decision on surgery.
Stimulators are placed stereotactically under local anesthesia with MRI-based targeting and detailed electrical mapping. Stimulators may be placed in the thalamus, subthalamus, or globus pallidus depending on the patient’s circumstances.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical option for patients with movement disorders. During DBS surgery electrodes are implanted within the brain to deliver electrical impulses. The stimulation offers patients relief from the tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement and stiffness. What makes this treatment so unique is the fact that symptoms can be improved as the disease progresses without any irreversible effects on the brain.