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My mother is having a deep brain stimulator (DBS) implanted for Parkinson’s disease (PD), what is this how will this device affect her Physical Therapy treatments.


The DBS was approved by the FDA in 2002 and is a surgical procedure, involving the implantation of a device or a brain pacemaker, which is used to treat most common disabling symptoms of PD, such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement and walking problems. Presently the procedure only used for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled by medications. Physical therapists cannot use any electrical stimulation or electrical devices with a DBS implant. She needs to be gentle when doing stretching exercises of the neck as the neurostimulator, which is placed from the lower chest or skin under the abdomen, has a small lead wire which then runs up through the skull into the targeted area in the brain, where the electrode is placed. Good luck, properly selected patients report a 70 percent improvement in function.

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