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Deep brain stimulation – a miracle in the world of modern medicine

Until recently, patients suffering from muscular dystonia had no cure. In recent years, medicine has moved forward and made it possible to treat this pathology. Foreign clinics successfully treat this pathology using deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology. Thanks to the development of medical tourism, you can easily undergo treatment abroad. Foreign clinics are equipped with state-of-art equipment and have highly qualified surgeons.

What is dystonia?

Dystonia is a condition when muscles involuntarily contract and the natural position of the body or limbs is violated. Muscle tone is not only the basis of movement but also an important indicator of the nervous system condition and general health state. Pathologies of muscle tone are often just a symptom, an important signal that indicates several problems.

Causes:

  • Central nervous system problems are pathologies of the brain or spinal cord.
  • Maternal illnesses during pregnancy, diabetes mellitus, alcohol, and drug use, smoking, taking certain medications, stress.
  • Neuroinfections 
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in infants.

Symptoms:

  • Restriction of mobility or complete stiffness of body parts.
  • Improper motor development. 
  • Twisting and bending of some parts of the body.
  • Hypo- or hypertonicity of muscles.
  • Disruption of motor functions, loss of motor skills.

Diagnostics

To make the right diagnosis and identify the causes of the disease, a patient needs to undergo a comprehensive examination, including:

  • CBC, metabolic panel.
  • Urine tests.
  • Blood glucose levels.
  • Blood cholesterol and creatinine levels.
  • Level of potassium ions, calcium, copper.
  • Cortisol levels.

The most modern instrumental methods are used for diagnostics as well, including electrocardiography, electroencephalography, CT, MRI, and electromyography.

What is deep brain stimulation?

Deep brain stimulation involves the implantation of electrodes in certain areas of the brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate the wrong impulses into the brain. Electrical impulses can affect certain cells or chemicals inside the brain. The implantation of electrodes for DBS allows providing highly effective treatment to patients with generalized dystonia.

An important advantage of deep brain stimulation is the possibility of reversible effects on the brain. The stimulation parameters can be changed after surgery using a special device – DBS-programmer, taking into account the individual characteristics of a particular patient.

After the operation, the doctor adjusts the neurostimulation parameters during the planned visits, selecting the optimal values for each patient personally.

Deep brain stimulation is used by surgeons to treat diseases such as:

  • Essential tremor.
  • Dystonia.
  • Depression.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Traumatic brain injury.
  • Epilepsy.

It should be noted that DBS does not completely cure diseases, but only eliminates their manifestations, as well as stops further progression. DBS improves the quality of life of patients, but cannot fully replace drug therapy and regular examinations by a neurologist.

Risks

Deep brain stimulation is a minimally invasive procedure and considered safe, but any operation carries a risk of complications. In addition, side effects can occur individually in each patient. During the operation, surgeons create several holes in the skull to implant electrons and place a device which generates impulses under the skin. Despite the safety of the operation, such complications can occur in rare cases:

  • Brain hemorrhage.
  • Stroke.
  • Infection.
  • Nausea.
  • Heart problems.
  • Worsening of mental or emotional status.
  • Breathing problems.

Postoperative results

The effectiveness of deep brain stimulation in treating Parkinson’s disease is almost 100%. A patient’s well-being improves already during the first hours after the surgery. Speech becomes more coherent, tremor disappears, and coordination recovers. In a few days, patients note an improvement in overall health, including normal sleep, and absence of pain. The treatment of epilepsy with DBS halves the number of seizures in patients. Patients note a significant improvement in their condition. The complete absence of tremor was noticed in more than half of the patients.

How to get treatment abroad?

Today treatment abroad has reached a new level due to the development of medical tourism. Thanks to this, anyone can easily undergo treatment abroad. To undergo treatment in the best foreign hospitals, it is enough just to contact medical tourism operator Booking Health. On the Booking Health website bookinghealth.com you will find all information about prices for treatment abroad. Moreover, the company will provide you with the following services:

  • Booking hotels and air tickets.
  • Communication with the clinic after treatment completion.
  • Services of a personal medical coordinator.
  • Help in buying and forwarding medicines.