A technology-based approach
At UW Health, we offer the most advanced treatments for conditions such as epilepsy and movement disorders. One of these is deep brain stimulation (DBS).
DBS isn’t right for everyone, but for many people, the treatment helps them function better and leads to a better quality of life.
About the treatment
What is deep brain stimulation?
DBS uses electrical impulses to change or block the brain’s electrical signals that are causing your symptoms. These impulses are delivered by electrodes surgically implanted in specific areas of your brain.
We thread a wire under your skin that runs from the electrodes to a device we place in your chest. The device is like a pacemaker. We program and adjust it with a special type of remote control.
DBS doesn’t work for everyone. It won’t cure your condition or keep it from progressing. However, in some cases, it can reduce symptoms of movement disorders by as much as 70 percent. Many people are also able to reduce the amount of medication they must take.
Who is DBS for?
DBS may be considered for epilepsy or movement disorders if other treatments haven’t provided relief. Movement disorders we treat include:
In general, you must meet the following criteria to be considered for treatment:
You’ve tried other treatments
Your condition causes substantial disability
You’re in reasonably good health
You’re able to attend clinic visits and provide feedback during programming sessions for your device
You have a good support network
Placing and programming your device
Our team will first do some tests to determine if DBS is likely to be safe and helpful. They’ll talk about the potential risks and benefits and answer any questions you might have. If you decide to proceed, they’ll do more tests to determine the area of your brain to target.
Meet our team
Experience, skill and compassion
Patient support and services
Information and resources
Advanced care, close to home