developed by Medtronic Inc., includes an insulated
wire lead that is surgically implanted deep within
the thalamus, the brain's communication center. The
lead is connected by an extension wire passed under
the skin to an implanted pulse generator, similar
to an advanced cardiac pacemaker, which is implanted
near the collarbone.
20, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- People
who suffer from Parkinson's disease and essential
tremor have difficulty with everyday tasks such as
eating, drinking and writing.
done by University of Kentucky Hospital Chief of Staff
Byron Young, M.D., can help control the tremors. Young,
the Johnston-Wright Endowed Chair of Surgery, professor
in the Department of Surgery, chief of the Division
of Neurosurgery, and associate dean for Clinical Affairs,
implanted the first Activa Tremor Control Deep Brain
Stimulator (DBS) device for tremor disorder at UK
in December 1997. Since then, he has completed 50
by Medtronic Inc., includes an insulated wire lead
that is surgically implanted deep within the thalamus,
the brain's communication center. The lead is connected
by an extension wire passed under the skin to an implanted
pulse generator, similar to an advanced cardiac pacemaker,
which is implanted near the collarbone.
surgery the patient remains awake and responds to
questions and commands from Young and the surgical
team as they attempt to find the correct placement
of the lead's electrodes in the brain's thalamus.
The improvement in tremor control can be immediate
when the correct location is found.
of 1999, Diane Allen, 54, of Lawrenceburg, had her
first deep brain stimulation procedure done for treatment
of Parkinson's disease and a second procedure was
completed on Aug. 5 this year.
Drug therapy was not working and Allen was having
trouble typing, which is a requirement of her job.
wanted to continue to work and have a better life,"
Allen said. Since the procedure, Allen's tremors are
significantly less, and she has an easier time typing.
She says she also is more comfortable about going
out with friends, and it has allowed her to enjoy
playing with her grandchildren and dogs.
control the stimulation by passing a hand-held magnet
over the implanted pulse generator to turn it on or
off, or to increase or decrease stimulation depending
on their tremor suppression needs. To achieve maximum
tremor suppression, physicians program the generator
to deliver the precise stimulation needed for each
is designed for those for whom drugs are ineffective
in controlling their disabling tremor. In January
2002, the Food and Drug Administration approved Activa
for implantation in both brain areas.
tremor is the most common neurological movement disorder
in the country. The condition afflicts at least one
million Americans, usually age 45 or older.
disease is a progressive and degenerative neurological
disease that affects approximately 500,000 people
in the United States.
Neurosciences Institute will be hosting a seminar
at 10 a.m. Sept. 28 in the William T. Young Library
Auditorium. This seminar is designed to provide information
to patients, family members, and providers interested
in the use of this treatment for either Parkinson's
disease or essential tremors.
information, contact UK Health Connections at (859)
257-1000 or (800) 333-8874.