May 23, 2008

Webcast gives viewers inside look at Deep Brain Stimulation surgery

Featured Image

Edward Coleman, M.D., left, talks with Martin Sandler, M.B.Ch.B., center, and Jeremy Kaye, M.D., before delivering last week’s inaugural Sandler Lecture in Radiology and Radiological Sciences. (photo by Neil Brake)

Webcast gives viewers inside look at Deep Brain Stimulation surgery

At 4 p.m. on May 28, Vanderbilt Medical Center neurosurgeons and neurologists will be online at demonstrating their innovative technique used for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).

The therapy uses an implantable neuro-stimulator to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia.

Tens of thousands of people who experience movement disorders associated with Parkinson's, and a variety of other neurological conditions, stand to benefit from a new guidance system developed by Vanderbilt researchers that uses computerized brain-mapping techniques to significantly improve DBS surgery.

DBS has proven to be highly effective in the treatment of movement disorders when standard drug therapies either do not work or have lost their effectiveness.

In order to perform DBS surgery, physicians in the past used a heavy metal frame to stabilize the patient's head for imaging during the lengthy procedure.

For the past four years, Vanderbilt has been the pioneering medical center for testing a customized miniature stereotactic platform, which has proved much more comfortable to patients, and provided better accuracy for locating critical areas during surgery.

Peter Konrad, M.D., associate professor of Neurosurgery, along with Vanderbilt biomedical engineers, have also pioneered the use of a computer-aided system from planning to intra-operative guidance for the placement of DBS electrodes.

This system is used to analyze electrophysiological information to resolve structures not visible in anatomic images, thus improving both preoperative and intra-operative guidance.