Movement disorders

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. They are caused by an imbalance of positive and negative control that is in the various centers of the brain that control this function.
Due to these imbalances, certain brain chemicals make a hyperstimulus occur in the nerve pathways responsible for monitoring the coordination of movement. Knowing the nuclei can choose different therapeutic targets in these centers in order to inhibit them and improve the quality of life of our patients through the total or partial elimination of the symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease

The disease most prevalent in the group of movement disorders is Parkinson’s disease. This disease is a progressive degeneration of the substantia nigra and other pigmented nuclei trunk.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremor, rigidity, akinesia / bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and difficulty walking, which is highly disabling for the patient.

The traditional base of medical treatment is levodopa. However, it has been found that about 5-10 after the start of use, patients begin to experience complications such as motor fluctuations (efficacy periods alternating with periods of no efficacy) and dyskinesia (during periods of effectiveness appear fast and strong movements of muscle groups causing sudden movements of the body) that can cause just as much disability as symptoms of the disease itself. Because of these limitations, surgery emerge as a treatment for Parkinson’s with disabling motor complications.

Surgery to treat movement disorders and Parkinson’s disease

Surgery on certain brain structures is a powerful therapeutic tool for patients with Parkinson’s disease (EP) 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%.

Essential tremor is another pathologies which may be a subsidiary of this type of surgery. Surgery on the thalamus causes a reduction of the tremor around 85%.

There are also other types of tremors that could, in certain cases, benefit from this treatment. Another movement disorder is dystonia, consisting tonic, painful, involuntary and crawling type of muscles of one or more body parts contractions, due to a nervous system dysfunction. Dystonia with surgery can improve significantly as the mean improvement becomes 60%.

How is it done

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.

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. 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.

The first phase of the operation 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 neurosurgeon the exact points on which to place the pacing system.

In a second phase of the surgery, 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.

It passed 10-12 days after the intervention begins with the stimulation that can control the symptoms of these patients. The perioperative procedure (before and after the intervention) is very comfortable for the patient and family through the facilities available in the IMED Hospitals. In 4 or 5 days the patient can return home as normal.

parkinson disease surgery

PHASES (summary)
1. Case Study and patient selection
2. Intervention:
   Selection of therapeutic targets with a similar system to a GPS
   Electrode implantation. With the patient awake, the result being obtained and checked.
   The electrodes are tunneled and hide under the skin, minimizing the aesthetic impact of the intervention.
3. 4 or 5 days after surgery the patient can go home.
4. After 10 or 12 days you can start with the stimulation that allow you to control the symptoms of the movement disorders.

Parkinson’s Disease Treatments Abroad

Personal Patient Assistant

At IMED every patient will be assigned to one of our personal assistants, whom the patient will be able to reach 24/7. Should the patient have any questions, complaints or comments, their personal assistant will assist them at all times.

Accommodation, transfers and services

Spain is one of the best destinations for health tourism abroad. To facilitate the whole treatment process we have assembled a special package. IMED Hospitales will take care of all the necessities, such as accommodation, transfers, etc. to make the treatment as easy and as pleasant as possible.