It’s a dilemma facing many of my friends with Parkinson’s–when should I have Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) performed?
There is little argument that DBS can make a remarkable and life-alterating change in many Parkinsonians’ lives. There is also little argument that this invasive surgical treatment is a risky brain surgery that still remains to be a mystery to doctor, patient, and even the developers of the procedure. Why and how it works is still yet to be unravelled. The complexities of the human brain hold volumes of unanswered questions and DBS, while it can prove to be of major benefit should be severely critiqued before going forward with this decision.
DBS is portrayed in the media as a panacea. While DBS may make an unquestionable impact on a patient’s life, it is still yet to be determined how long this modern advance is truly going to remain efficacious. Be aware of possible infection, lead breaks, minor surgeries every 3 to 5 years for battery changes, and even though your medicine dosages may be reduced, you will still be taking your meds.
Before you elect to undergo what can be a tramatic and potentially irreversible procedure, make sure that you haven’t overlooked all other forseeable options: Complimentary therapies such as Reiki, Yoga, Qi Gong, Meditation, and Exercise. Have you explored and exhausted the variety of PD medicines? Talk with numerous people both locally and around the globe who have had it done to make sure DBS is right for you. Understand what symptoms DBS may help and those functions that it may hinder.
Check out my friends the Church’s book, Living Well With Parkinson’s DIsease: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You…That You Need To Know and Jackie Hunt Christiansen’s book Life With Bob .