If you have a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, you will experience impaired movements such as tremors, stiffness, poor coordination or uncontrolled movements.

Movement disorders are a set of relatively common diseases whose incidence is increasing in the recent years due to the increase in the average age of life expectancy of the population. Every body movement involves a complex interaction between brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Damage to or malfunction of any of these components may result in a movement disorder.

Some movement disorders, such as hiccups, are temporary. Others, such as Parkinson’s disease, are serious and progressive, impairing the ability to use the hands, walk, maintain balance, do simple tasks and even speak.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It is the most prevalent in the group of movement disorder. PD is due to a progressive degeneration of the substantia nigra and other pigmented nuclei trunk, that helps coordinate movements.

Parkinson’s disease affects about 1 of 250 people older than 40, about 1 of 100 people older than 65, and about 1 of 10 people older than 80. PD commonly begins between the ages of 50 and 79.  About 15% to 20% of people with Parkinson’s disease have relatives who have or have had the disease.

Often, the most obvious symptom is tremors that occur when muscles are relaxed. Muscles become stiff, movements become slow and uncoordinated, and balance is easily lost. Other symptoms include rigidity, akinesia / bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and difficulty walking, which is highly disabling for the patient.

How is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?

Currently there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but medication and therapy are used to treat its symptoms.

The traditional base of medical treatment is levodopa, that help lessen symptoms. Other treatments include lifestyle modifications like getting more rest and more exercise. Surgery can be an effective treatment option for different symptoms, but only the symptoms that previously improved on levodopa have the potential to improve after the surgery.

Surgery to treat Parkinson’s disease

Surgery on certain brain structures is a powerful therapeutic tool for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other commonly known as movement disorders neurological diseases.

If the patient is well selected for surgery (well-established international standards), the benefit provided by comparative studies with the best medical treatment, is very favorable. The most beneficial effects of surgery are produced on the rigidity, akinesia / bradykinesia and tremor and therefore on the quality of life, becoming this improvement around 70%.

The goal of surgery of Parkinson’s or movement disorders is implanting electrodes in a brain structure because the disease is overactive and is the cause of symptoms. This procedure is known as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). The action of the electric current through these electrodes causes the symptoms to normal, decrease or even disappear, resulting in a significant change in the quality of life of patients.

  • Phase 1: Case Study and patient selection
    This surgery is usually used after the pharmacological treatment of the disease has failed or caused undesirable effects and can not return the patient functional autonomy and minimum quality of life. A movement disorder specialist will determine if patient is a good candidate for DBS.
  • Phase 2: Intervention
    Neurosurgeon will determine the brain structures that must attack to achieve our goal. Using new techniques we can choose each of these therapeutic targets in the brain similar to a GPS indicating the surgeon the exact points on which to place the pacing system.
    The patient will be still awake and working with the team of surgeons at all time, to implant these electrodes subcutaneously and allows the control at all times how the resulting intervention connect.
    Once surgeons checked that the whole circuit is integral and has acted on the cores movement affecting all electrodes are tunneled by hiding under the skin.
    Electrical impulses are sent from the neurostimulator up along the extension wire and the lead and into the brain. These impulses interfere with and block the electrical signals that cause PD symptoms.
  • Phase 3: Hospitalization and postoperative
    Patient must be hospitalized 4 or 5 days. It passed 10-12 days after the intervention begins with the stimulation that can control the symptoms of these patients.

These options improve the quality of life of patients through the total or partial elimination of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Ask our movement disorders specialists about surgical treatment options to control the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.