DENVER (KDVR) — As the world recognizes Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, doctors are celebrating big milestones in the care of those suffering from the nervous system disorder.
At HealthONE’s Swedish Medical Center, Dr. Matthew Mian, a neurosurgeon, is on a mission to spread the word about the exciting benefits of deep brain stimulation (DBS). The stimulation is made possible from a device that experts have described as a “pacemaker for the brain.”
DBS is a game changer for many people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, according to Mian. It allows for more quality movement — fewer tremors for example — as the symptoms of medicated patients fluctuate throughout.
“We insert a tiny wire into a deep part of the brain, and it delivers painless pulses of electricity,” Mian explained.
DBS is not new, but the way the wire and device are implanted is much more streamlined now through robotic surgery. Also, doctors can now take advantage of remote device programming.
“I think it’s really changing the way that we deliver care to patients with Parkinson’s disease,” Mian said.
The new platform, introduced in the last few months, allows doctors to tweak the stimulator through virtual visits. A patient can now accomplish follow-up appointments from the comfort of their living room.
The device won’t cure Parkinson’s or delay its progression; It helps alleviate symptoms. But, Mian said too many patients are not enjoying the benefit.
“Very few patients who would be eligible for a therapy like this never learn about it,” he said.
Now — especially during this Parkinson’s Awareness Month — news stories and various medical webinars are helping to spread the word. The objective is to help as many people as possible lead more enjoyable lives.