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Deep brain stimulation is a minimally-invasive surgical treatment for patients with movement disorders.

Deep Brain Stimulation

IU School of Medicine leads the way for the comprehensive management of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and other movement disorders. Department of Neurological Surgery stereotactic and functional neurosurgery faculty in collaboration with movement disorder specialists offer comprehensive care for movement disorders, including deep brain stimulation (DBS) neurosurgery and DBS programming. DBS is a minimally-invasive surgical treatment that involves placing fine stimulating electrodes into specific areas of the brain that control movement. These DBS electrodes are connected to a pacemaker implanted in the chest that sends electrical impulses to the brain and alleviates motor symptoms.

For patients with Parkinson’s disease, DBS can improve tremor, dyskinesia and rapid fluctuations between on and off medication states. In treating patients with essential tremor and dystonia, DBS can improve tremor, involuntary muscle contractions and twisting. DBS is also being studied as a treatment for other neurological conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, obesity and Tourette’s syndrome. The interdisciplinary DBS clinical team is comprised of two functional neurosurgeons, five movement disorders neurologists, two IU Health registered nurses and two neuropsychologists. Each patient’s treatment plan is customized specifically to their health needs and a full range of novel advancements in DBS technology are available.

Patients interested in DBS surgery are first evaluated by movement disorder neurologists and neuropsychologists. Evaluations include video examination off and on medications and brain imaging tests, including MRI and CT scans. Following these evaluations, patients who are eligible for DBS surgery then meet with the functional neurosurgeons to discuss next steps.

Seeking an Deep Brain Stimulation Evaluation?

Patients and providers interested in the DBS program should contact the DBS Nurse telephone line at 317-963-2793 to schedule an appointment with IU School of Medicine specialists.


Deep Brain Stimulation Faculty

Thomas C. Witt, MD

Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery

Christopher W. James, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology

Joanne M. Wojcieszek, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology

S. Elizabeth Zauber, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology