Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS, is a surgical treatment that requires the implantation of a medical device sending electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. On this episode of “Ask the Experts,” sponsored by Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), listeners learn more about the surgical management of Parkinson's and take a look ahead at research with Dr. Kim Burchiel, a renowned expert in his field. Dr. Burchiel is chair of neurosurgery at OHSU, specializing in functional and stereotactic neurosurgery, pain surgery, and epilepsy surgery. Also joining the program is Bruce Geis, a patient of Dr. Burchiel’s who underwent DBS and benefited tremendously.
The discussion begins with Bruce sharing his story about being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1990 after being bothered by hand tremors and other uncontrolled movements. His partner Diane also joins the program to help Bruce with a timeline of events and elaborate on his care. Together for three years, Diane and Bruce reconnected at their 40th high school reunion. Diane has observed the benefits from deep brain stimulation in Bruce, a therapy he describes as “helping him tremendously.” Today, Bruce is losing his voice and his balance every now and then, but he is happy to have received state-of-the-art care at OHSU.
From neurotransmitters connecting signals between neurons to potential candidates for ongoing Parkinson's trials, there is no shortage of information in this program. Hear more about what DBS is doing for patients with Parkinson's. Dr. Burchiel helps the lay listener to understand the role of DBS in the future. In his words: “I think we can safely say over the next few years that deep brain stimulation is still going to be the dominant therapy. It’s been so successful. I don’t see a major change in the therapy over the next couple of years. ” Listen now to hear more about Bruce and the progress being made with this new therapy.
Kim Burchiel, M.D.
Chair of Neurosurgery, Oregon Health & Science UniversityDr. Burchiel is chair of neurosurgery at Oregon Health and Science University. His interests include functional and stereotactic neurosurgery, pain surgery, and epilepsy surgery. Dr. Burchiel's research interests are concerned with the physiology of nociception and neuropathic pains, including trigeminal neuralgia, the neurosurgical treatment of movement disorders, and image-guided neurosurgery. He received his medical degree from University of California San... more >
Diagnosed with Parkinson'sBruce was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1990 after being bothered by hand tremors and other uncontrolled movements. In 1994, Bruce underwent deep brain stimulation, a therapy he describes as helping him tremendously. Today, Bruce is losing his voice and his balance every now and then, but he is happy to have received state-of-the-art care for his condition. more >