Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery – I am about to begin testing for this and I’m worried that it will cause some irreversible harm in my quest to recover from Parkinsons. How long does the benefit from this surgery last? Is this a short term fix and a long term set back? What are your thoughts?
I personally do not think anything is irreversible. The body has a remarkable ability to heal when given the proper support.
One of the issues you may want to process is whether you are depending on a single treatment or therapy that will reverse the symptoms you currently experience rather than looking inward for resolution. In the end, all healing comes from a place deep within all of us. At the core it really is a question of what we think moment to moment.
As for the specifics of DBS, your surgeon of course is the most important and best resource to consult. I personally have found the DBS surgeons to be forthright and very honest about the outcomes your might expect. Be sure and ask your surgeon every question you can think of while considering this option.
I understand the DBS surgery is primarily used to help people reduce the dosage of medications that they currently take. The batteries have to be changed every 2-5 years which requires surgery itself, so getting DBS is not a simple matter of having one procedure and you are done. Close and continuous monitoring is essential and follow-up surgeries to replace batteries are required.
As with any option – some people are very happy after having gone through Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery and others are not. Of course, side effects and complications are always a concern with any surgery. Some options work beautifully for some people and not for others. I always suggest to people to ask their bodies through muscle testing, a popular method that is now used by a wide variety of health care practitioners.
I need to investigate the research on DPS that has been published over the past year. I think that a study that followed people with DBS for longer than 6 months may have been published. I will have to get back to you on that one. There is a New England of Medicine study that tracks people for 6 months only.
The people who are recovering have adopted a multi-prong approach, meaning that they embrace a number of different approaches and strategies for finding sustained relief from their symptoms. This is why Parkinsons Recovery is sponsoring a Summit in Cincinnati June 22-23 which features a variety of therapies that people have discovered help provide relief from symptoms.
I personally do not know of any single therapy (regardless of what it is named) that addresses all symptoms.The body really is very complex. I also know from my research that the people who are recovering are taking responsibility for their health as are you!
The body is changing continuously. What helps today may not be needed tomorrow. We never can really know whether decisions that are made today will have any long standing effect. I think it helps to view recovery as a process that requires continuous monitoring and the intention to heal. It can be exhausting process, but also one that is accompanied by endless rewards, exciting discoveries and renewal.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease