Deep Brain Stimulation

At MaineHealth, neurological experts offer patients the most advanced treatments for movement disorders, including Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease. Maine Medical Center Neuroscience Institute in Portland has the only deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy in Maine.

What is deep brain stimulation (DBS)?

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) treats several symptoms that affect patients with movement disorders. Deep brain stimulation uses a medical device implanted near the collarbone. It sends a small electric current to an electrode implanted in affected areas of the brain. Some people liken the DBS system which is implanted in the brain to a pacemaker which is implanted in the heart.

DBS blocks abnormal nerve signals that cause tremors and other movement problems. DBS is painless and does not hurt healthy brain tissue.  

Conditions treated with DBS

Deep brain stimulation is helpful for patients whose movement disorders do not get better with medication.

Maine Medical Center Neuroscience Institute in Portland treats the following conditions, in the advanced stage, with DBS:

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Atypical Parkinson’s disease

  • Essential tremor

  • Dystonia

Deep brain stimulation side effects

Talk with your doctor before the surgery about the pros and cons of deep brain stimulation. Your doctor will tell you if DBS is right for you.

DBS is a safe treatment, but any surgery has some risks. Surgery complications can include:

  • Bleeding in the brain

  • Stroke

  • Infection

  • Breathing problems

  • Nausea

  • Heart problems

  • Seizures