Abnormal impulses from the brain can be regulated by implanting electrodes within certain areas of the brain. Another concept is to use electrodes to alter or affect other cells in the brain or have certain impact on chemicals. These electrical signals are controlled via a pacemaker that is attached under your skin in your upper chest. A wire leads from the device to the electrodes in the brain.
Deep Brain Stimulation is used especially to treat neurological conditions such as Essential Tumor, Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia.
There are also studies conducted to explore its ability to treat epilepsy, cluster headaches, chronic pain as well as major depression. It has also been found to be beneficial for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Potential risks involved in Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery are:
This type of surgery is generally safe. But as it is a well known fact that any kind of surgery has a tiny chance of a risk or some side effect that will be noticed at a later date.
Well, the deep brain stimulation surgery involves boring small holes in the skull to implant electrodes. It also involves implanting a pacemaker device that contains batteries. This is placed under the skin and chest. There are various complications that may occur during a DBS.
- There could be bleeding in the brain.
- It could cause hemorrhage.
- Stroke could be an after effect.
- It may cause breathing problems.
- Nausea has been observed as one of the other after effects.
- Heart problems
- There could be scarring observed on the incision.
Well, other side effects observed are seizure, infection, headache, insomnia and memory problems. Temporary pain and swelling could be seen.
The surgery as mentioned earlier includes a device inserted in your chest that is operated with the help of batteries. This means that the batteries will eventually die out. The batteries will need to be replaced.
On the other hand, the device will need to be tested for various settings to determine which are best for you. This process sometimes take days even months.
The stimulation could also cause certain side effects. The stimulation causes a tingling sensation in your brain. There could be tightening of the muscles of the face or arm. It could also interfere with speech causing speech problems. Other side effects include balance problems and lightheadedness.
Undesirable effects like mood problems that include mania and depression too can be an after effect of Deep brain stimulation surgery too.
This is an overall risky procedure. Although it could bring a lot of good to patients suffering from serious movement disorders or other brain related ailments, the procedure should be performed with great care. It has external objects that are inserted in our body, which is why the risk factors are also great. This makes it even more crucial that patients are aware of the procedure and the risk involved well in advance so that they know what they are up to.