Parkinson's disease can affect every aspect of someone's life, but a high tech therapy called Deep Brain Stimulation can offer relief from many of the symptoms.
Parkinson's is a neurological disorder that can unfortunately be progressive over time, says Dr. Joohi Shahed, Medical Director and associate professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Mount Sinai. Symptoms include tremors, stiffness, slowed down movements and difficulty walking.
"What becomes so challenging about this condition is that it can really affect patients ability to get through their day to day activities," she says.
While there is no cure for the disease there are several forms of treatment, including medication and surgeries.
Before being diagnosed with Parkinson's, Jeff was a dentist. Medications didn't work to combat his tremors and stiffness, so he was forced to retire.
Dr. Shahed began working with Jeff to set up his DBS surgery. This procedure is usually done on patients that have been on medication for a period of time, but are no longer seeing their symptoms improve.
The procedure uses technology similar to a pacemaker. A battery is planted in the chest is connected to a brain electrode that's implanted in the deep brain structures that control movement. When the battery is programmed it delivers a small electrical current to block messages that are associated with symptoms of Parkinson's. Relief can come very quickly once the procedure is done.
"The tremors were absolutely reduced. I can play with my grandchildren, play golf every morning...it's just great, it couldn't be better," says Jeff.
If you'd like to learn more you can go to discoverdbs.com