Deep brain stimulation procedure has high success rate for patients with Parkinson’s Disease

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Parkinson’s disease affects hundreds of thousands of people in the country. Doctors say a lot of patients don’t know about an important treatment option.

A treatment called Deep brain stimulation helps with motor problems associated with Parkinson’s. A wire is part of the Deep brain stimulation procedure, it’s inserted into a patient’s brain and it electrically stimulates the circuit for movement.

The surgical procedure is not new, but recently the FDA has approved it for people in earlier stages of the disease. Previously a patient had to have Parkinson’s for a number of years before the treatment was considered appropriate, now it’s based on when a patient reaches a certain stage of the disease, which turns out to be a younger age for most patients.

“We’re modifying the circuit in the brain that eventually sends a message for movement. So in Parkinson’s there are message that are no movement, they can’t get going, they have messages of excessive movement. So we can modify both the excessive movement by modifying that circuit and we can modify the lack of movement,” said Doctor Robert Plunkett, University at Buffalo Associate Professor of Neurosurgery.

Dr. Plunkett says side effects or risks of using deep brain stimulation are low and the treatment has a high success rate. He says about 85 percent of patients who receive it see a significant improvement in their quality of life. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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