Tucson Morning Blend

Actions

Implanting electrodes in the brain could be key to some serious illnesses

Posted at 2:11 PM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 17:11:26-04

Since the late 90s, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has been used to treat essential tremor and Parkinson’s and has expanded to include a multitude of movement disorders and even treat addictions.

What is Deep Brain Stimulation or DBS?

Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain, which produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses or can affect certain cells and chemicals within the brain. The amount of stimulation in deep brain stimulation is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your upper chest. A wire that travels under your skin connects this device to the electrodes in your brain. Along with deep brain stimulation, awake brain surgery involves a surgeon putting electrodes to a target area of the brain in order to stimulate and record brain activity. This is becoming more widespread because doctors can monitor brain function while they operate and reduce risks. Responses, while awake during surgery, help surgeons ensure that they treat the precise area of the brain needing surgery.