Deep Brain Stimulation at Michigan Medicine

Deep Brain Stimulation at Michigan Medicine


(gentle piano music) – Tremors, essential tremors. I had this hand done last year. When I first started noticing any tremors, this was about maybe 12 years ago, but I didn’t really pay
much attention to it. I just kind of dismiss, I’ll work around it. But it continually got worse. – Deep brain stimulation
is a brain pacemaker. In our brain, when we have
certain diseases, the signals, the electrical signals traveling around the brain become disordered. A little bit like when an
orchestra is first tuning and everyone is kind of playing
whatever they want to play. What deep brain stimulation does, is it provides a regular
set of electrical impulses that kind of drown out that noise and let the natural impulses go through. So whether it’s Parkinson’s
Disease or a tremor, deep brain stimulation
helps with the symptoms by getting rid of the
bad or disordered signals that are traveling in the brain. – This may sound funny, and this is why I’m having my left hand done as well, if you ever tried to cut a
piece of steak on a plate, at first, it started just (mumbles), I’ll get this piece over
here or something like that. Cut a piece of steak on a plate and I’ll chase it over here, no wait a minute, no I’ll chase it over here. I was chasing a damn steak all over the place, just (laughs) to cut a little tiny piece. And this is what it’s all about. It’s just horrible to be able
to maneuver like this here. – How’re you doing my friend? – Good. – Good. – You look like you’ve kind
of got a hold on here, good. – [Parag] Deep brain stimulation surgery occurs in two stages. The first stage is the
placement of the electrodes very precisely into the brain, and the second stage is the placement of the implantable pulse generator, which we call the battery. (heart monitor beeping) – Can you feel something in your hand? – (laughs) Ya. – What did you feel? – Like a shock. – A little shock. That was the lead going in. – [Parag] At the University of Michigan, most often deep brain
stimulation is done awake. The reason for this is that
it’s absolutely critical that we know that we’re
in exactly the right spot. Even in the same disease, different patients’ brains are different. By having the patient awake
in the operating room, there’s an opportunity for
Dr. Chou and Karen Kurcz, our speech pathologist, to
rigorously test the patient, and make sure for that patient, the lead is in exactly the right spot. – [Karen] Hi, as fast as you can. Go. – Huckleberry, huckleberry, huckleberry, huckleberry, huckleberry, huckleberry, huckleberry. – [Karen] Perfect, you can stop. So he did seven huckleberries
in five seconds. – Okay. – [Karen] You’re doing okay? – Ya, I’m good. – [Assistant] Do you know if
your place in Florida is okay? – As far as I know. – [Assistant] Ya? – I think it still has a roof. – [Assistant] Okay (laughs). – Today is my first visit with Dr. Chou to have my settings made. – So when we test them, you
can turn on the stimulator, and you can see a tremor
basically melt away, almost immediately once
you get the right setting. It’s actually one of the best
things in the world to see, someone shaking around
when their holding a cup, and then turn it on, and then
just a few seconds afterwards, that tremor goes away and
they’re able to take a cup from a table and then
bring it to their mouth, and be able to drink from
it without spilling it. It’s one of the best things, I think, we can ever see in the world. – We went through the different levels. Just holding my hand here now, it is activated and you can see that it’s a lot different
than it was an hour ago. I understand that some people are afraid, you’re going to open up my head? You’re going to drill my skull? You’re going to have
fourteen stitches later on? And then I gotta go back
a couple weeks later, and then you got to connect everything? And run a wire down my
neck into the stimulator? Oh no, that’s too much, I don’t know if I could deal with it. But it’s not. It’s not really that bad. If you’re actions are that uncontrolled in doing daily tasks, I’d
advise it for everybody.


15 thoughts on “Deep Brain Stimulation at Michigan Medicine

  1. Is this as effective for Parkinson's & ET? If so, can it be used when patient's on other therapies, e.g. oral meds? Are there any contraindications if on certain meds?

  2. Will this work for someone who had a meningioma removed which left numbness in one leg, speech slowing and slow connection between hearing and brain?

  3. Doctor i m from Pakistan .my dad since 10years Parkinson dicese .all over Pakistani doc checkup they r advised signamet nd pk merz.but my day by day lower. I want to treetmnt plzz help me. V r belong poor family..

  4. I suffered with Essential Tremors for 30 years. After seeing my Doctor I started on 50mg of "Primadone" a day and it did help. Forward 25 years later and I was up to 1500mg a day and the tremors kept getting worse. I Sold my house and at the closing my Lawyer asked me: How long have you had Essential Tremors? I was shocked by the question since most people have no clue what Essential Tremors are. After the closing we talked and he told me he has them as well and is taking 1000mg a day. He then told me about DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation). He said he is scheduled to have the operation in 3 months. I told him, give me the contact info so I can have it done. Six weeks later I had a consultation with the surgeon. Two months after that I had the surgery. It was a very painful 6 weeks of recovery for me. I then went in and they activated the device.

    That was 5 years ago. It has been life changing for me. I am now 66 and I do not take any medication for anything.

    The operation was done at Pittsburgh Presp Medical Center. I am going to need a new battery put in soon and that is fine. I turn the device off when I go to bed and turn it back on when I wake up, to extend battery life.

    My personal Doctor had never heard of DBS prior. The Medical Community needs to educate General MD's about this procedure.

    I can totally relate to this man and am glad he has his life back. I would have it done again in a heart beat.

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