More than 100,000 people with Parkinson’s disease have undergone deep brain stimulation and noted a significant decrease in symptoms of the disease. Thanks to the stimulator, patients can control their condition, which greatly simplifies their lives.


People who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy or tremor of the extremities in first hand know about the difficulties of living with neurological diseases. Attacks, convulsions, impairment of motor processes – all this can affect a person and significantly worsen the life’s quality.To relieve the symptoms of neurological disorders, medicine focuses on treatment through drugs. Drugs do not cure the disease completely, but can significantly affect its manifestations. Thanks to properly selected drugs, doctors can balance a person’s nervous system, which will naturally affect his general well-being.Often the problem is that, due to the progressive nature of the disease, modern drugs, although they help patients to keep working, but over time, they require increasing the dosage and combination with new drugs. After many years, similar cocktails from pills lose their effectiveness and all symptoms return to a person’s life.There is also a large percentage of people who do not respond to drug therapy and continue to experience unpleasant symptoms of the disease. But such patients also have the hope now of improving the quality of life, thanks to the revolutionary technology of deep brain stimulation (DBS).


DBS or deep brain stimulation is a neurosurgical procedure that is performed to treat:

  • parkinson’s disease;
  • epilepsy;
  • dystonia;
  • motor impairment (tremor).
Neurological diseases and modern therapy

The method aims to suppress activity in those parts of the brain that cause certain symptoms of the disease. Before the procedure, the patient is sent for the diagnosis to determine the exact location of the active zone. To do this, a computer-resonance tomography is carry out or create a map of electrical activity using the EEG.


The operation itself is carried out in two stages. The first is a stereotactic operation under local anesthesia. Waking the patient during the procedure is an important point, since communication and the fulfillment of the doctor’s requests help to determine the exact location of the focus and correctly position the electrodes.


During the operation, the patient may be asked to raise his hand or count the sum of the numbers. The brain itself does not feel pain, so the patient does not feel discomfort during the procedure. After the first stage, the patient is discharged and stays until the recovery period. Many patients say that they began to feel better. This is due to the swelling of the brain around the tip of the electrode, which provokes the suppression of symptoms of the disease.


This improvement is temporary, but is a good indicator for the future results of a stimulator implantation.The second stage is the implantation of a stimulant, which is carried out under general anesthesia. The device is placed under the skin in the area of the clavicle and connected to a wire that runs under the skin of the head. After 10 days, the first programming session is prescribed, at which the dosage of drugs is adjusted. It may take 3-4 such programming sessions.


The success of DBS depends on a set of actions:

  • the right choice of the patient;
  • accurate determination of the focus’s activity;
  • correct positioning of the electrodes during the operation;
  • subsequent programming of the device with the appointment of drugs.

If all conditions are met, then in 70% of patients with Parkinson’s disease, the symptoms of tremor and rigidity are relieved, and the slowness and manifestations of involuntary movements disappear. With essential tremor, 60-90% of patients report reduction in the tremor of the arms, head, and voice. Also, patients talk about noticeable improvements in sleep and quality of life in general. After the DBS has been programmed, it is important for the patient to follow the instructions that the doctor recommended. In most cases, the stimulator works 24 hours a day, but some patients may turn it off before going to bed. A DBS system usually does not exceed the size of a matchbox and is battery operated. Patient controls the stimulator independently using a manual controller. Depending on the cost of the device, it may recharge or require replacement of the battery after the charge has expired.


Deep brain stimulation is only applied in the absence of mental disorders, in the absence of memory disorders and in patients who are under 75 years of age. Usually, DBS does not cause severe side effects, but in some cases it is possible to increase body weight, increased anxiety, and speech disturbance, which manifests itself in the form of a decrease in its fluency. But in most cases, patients are willing to put up with the side effects of stimulation, as it helps to significantly reduce the main symptoms of the disease, which usually cause great discomfort.


In Koç University Hospital, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and essential tremor are treated with deep brain stimulation. To ensure the relevance of this method for each individual patient, a thorough examination is carried out here. DBS in the clinic Koc is conducted, if:

  • symptoms of the patient are present for 5 years;
  • the effect of drug therapy with carbidopa / levodopa drugs is insufficient;
  • other drugs that did not give a positive result were tried;
  • there are symptoms that interfere with everyday life (convulsions, tremor).

Neurologists and neurosurgeons of the clinic managed to achieve good results in the therapy of Parkinson’s disease. Patients who underwent deep brain stimulation here were able to get rid of tremor, speech disorders and returned to everyday life, without the tiresome symptoms of the disease.Approximately the DBS procedure in the Koc clinic will cost the patient from $ 30,000 to $ 32,000, which is a relatively affordable price if you take into account the clinics in many other countries. For foreign patients, they provide interpreter services, arrange a transfer from the airport to the hospital, and help with booking a hotel (if necessary).

MediGlobus coordinators will tell you more about the organization of deep brain stimulation at Koç University Hospital. Leave your request through the button “Get a free consultation” and wait for the call of our specialist!

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