OhioHealth Medical Minute: Deep Brain Stimulation
Movement disorders, like Parkinson's disease and dystonia, have been around for years, but as we get older, our risk of being diagnosed with these types of diseases becomes much more real. Movement disorders typically begin in middle to late life, and the risk increases with age.
However, new medical treatment options make managing symptoms like tremor and stiffness easier than ever before. In this OhioHealth Medical Minute, Angela Hardwick, MD, a neurosurgeon at OhioHealth, explains both the traditional and innovative treatent methods you can take to get you back on your feet and and living out your best health.
MT: “So a lot of people always talking about movement disorders, which I know is your specialty, and lots of research that goes along with that. What are we seeing when it comes to just diagnosis? The baby boomer age is starting to climb, and a lot of those people are now being diagnosed with this disease. What can you tell us about that?”
AH: “Typically, the starting age for most Parkinson’s patients is 55 to 65, and as our generations get older, like you said, there are more and more patients coming through. What I’m looking for are tremors, slowness, stiffness or walking change. There’s a host of other things that can be supportive, but those are the main four.”
MT: “So for a lot of those people, they’ll be thinking, ‘Okay, what do I need to do to try and make myself at least baseline or not getting worse?’ What can you tell us people do, just in those kinds of cases?’
AH: “I tell everyone we have two things: exercise and taking your medication. We have lots of medication options. This is not the Parkinson’s disease that we think of from the 70s or the 60s. There are tons of treatment options in lots of different categories, and those are the first two cornerstones of treatment.”
MT: “And then of course there are other ways of going about things, including deep brain stimulation. You’ve been doing it at OhioHealth since this summer. Walk me through what that is. It sounds pretty amazing.”
AH: “Deep brain stimulation surgery is a great neurosurgical treatment we have available. It’s for patients who have tremor, slowness and stiffness. I use it in patients who have Parkinson’s, essential tremor and dystonia. Often in the operating room, I can see immediate improvement, which is a game-changer for a lot of our patients.”
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