Gian Pal, MD, MS – Rush University Medical Center

I’m a neurologist and a movement disorders
specialist, and I treat Parkinson’s disease and a variety of different movement disorders. We certainly want to make sure we exhaust
all kinds of different options that are available to us before we consider more invasive surgical
options. Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure
where electrodes are implanted into the brain — maybe on one side, maybe on both sides
— with the goal of improving symptoms for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and
dystonia. And during a deep brain stimulation evaluation,
we often have a very open discussion regarding what the goals are for getting the deep brain
stimulation — from the patient’s perspective — and then whether or not we can actually
meet those goals or expectations through the surgery. For Parkinson’s disease, if a patient has
very prominent tremor, after surgery they may have a very significant reduction in that
tremor or maybe even resolution of that tremor, which can really have a profound impact on
a patient’s relationships with their friends, their colleagues, their family members, and
just how they perceive themselves in their day-to-day life. It’s a very exciting time in this field. There’s a lot of great work being done — both
at Rush and nationally and internationally — and I think we’re making a lot of progress
within the field of neurology and that’s only gonna improve in the years to come.

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