As one of the top neurology programs in the United States, University of Minnesota Health helped to pioneer the use of deep brain stimulation to control abnormal movement disorders. With this therapy, our specialists surgically implant electrodes in your brain and connect them with a tiny wire to a pulse generator, a pacemaker-like device in your chest. We have one of the world’s few high-intensity magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices to define tiny structures in the brain, helping neurosurgeons place the electrodes accurately. In addition, neurosurgeons listen to the electrical “noise” or static sounds of the brain during placement of the electrodes. Once in position, the device sends electrical pulses to your brain to control your muscle spasms by blocking abnormal signals that cause some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia. The University of Minnesota’s active DBS program has treated nearly 1,000 patients since it began in 1997.
Research continues today at the Neuromodulation Research Center, a collaborative that brings together University of Minnesota experts in neurology, neurosurgery, neuroscience, biomedical engineering and radiology to advance the understanding of brain conditions and neuromodulation therapies. Here, deep brain stimulation is studied to reveal potential new applications and better ways to navigate the brain.
The University of Minnesota has been named a Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research and was awarded a $9.07 million grant over the next five years to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease. A multidisciplinary team of physicians, researchers and engineers, led by Jerrold Vitek, MD, PhD, will focus on the brain circuitry changes that occur in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Vitek and his multidisciplinary team will leverage this understanding to improve deep brain stimulation (DBS) and other therapies to treat Parkinson’s disease. Read more about the grant and the Udall Center.
Our neurologists are working to provide you with comprehensive, compassionate care. Our Movement Disorders and Epilepsy Surgery Center was created to treat patients with movement disorders and includes neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuroradiologists, rehabilitation specialists, psychologists, nutritionists, social workers and other health care professionals to provide the best care for you.
There are several clinical trials available to patients with movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Ask your physician if there is one that is right for you.