In my opinion, some of NBC’s Nancy Snyderman reporting was unintentionally inaccurate or misleading when she said that:
1. DBS delivers “shocks” to the brain: This might imply that a DBS recipient would experience a sensation of “shocks” but that is not the case, and I would suggest that you talk with someone who has had the surgery to more fully understand the experience.
2. DBS is intended for those who “don’t respond to medications.” In fact, response to carbidopa-levodopa (Sinemet) is an indicator that one IS an appropriate candidate for DBS. A more accurate statement would have been that DBS may be beneficial for those who are no longer responding optimally to their PD medications.
3. DBS provides “permanent effects.” DBS is not a cure, and one’s Parkinson’s continues to progress whether you are taking medications or have DBS. But both provide symptomatic relief while in use.
With those provisos, I think you will enjoy this 3 minute clip of a very successful DBS surgery done by Dr. Donald Whiting, Neurosurgeon in Pennsylvania:
Diane L. Church, PhD
Coordinator, The Parkinson’s Center
Coordinator, Neurology Clinical Research
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center