Deep Brain Stimulation Program
First in New England to Perform DBS
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was the first hospital in New England to perform Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery.
DBS is an approved treatment for patients with tremor, dystonia and Parkinson's disease when medications are no longer adequate. DBS uses a surgically implanted device called a neurostimulator- similar to a heart pacemaker-to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement. After surgery, the stimulator is monitored and adjusted as needed during outpatient visits.
Our multidisciplinary team is experienced in all aspects of DBS surgery, including proper selection of DBS candidates, operative planning, microelectrode recording and post-operative care.
The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Deep Brain Stimulation Team: (Back row from left to right) David K. Simon, MD, PhD; Margaret O'Connor, PhD: Scott Kaplan, MD; Jared Miller, BS; Althea Silver, RN, MPH; (Front row from left to right) Ludy Shih, MD; Efstathios Papavassiliou, MD; Daniel Tarsy, MD; Veronique Vanderhorst, MD, PhD. Not pictured: Ron Alterman, MD; Rami Burstein, PhD
- Ludy Shih, MD, Neurology, Director, Deep Brain Stimulation Program
- Daniel Tarsy, MD, Neurology
- David Simon, MD, PhD, Neurology
- Veronique Vanderhorst, MD, PhD, Neurology
- Efstathios Papavassiliou, MD, Neurosurgery
- Ron Alterman, MD, Neurosurgery
- Margaret O'Connor, PhD, Neuropsychology
- Mark Thall, MD, Psychiatry
- Lissa Kapust, LICSW, Social work
- Rami Burstein, PhD, Neurophysiologist
What is DBS?
DBS is a type of therapy that delivers high-frequency, low-current electrical stimulation to structures deep within your brain. The neurosurgeon performs an operation during which electrodes are placed in specific structures in the brain and then fixed to your skull. The electrodes are then connected by wires under the skin to a small "battery" in your chest called a pulse generator.
DBS was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for tremor in 1997, Parkinson's disease in 2002 and dystonia in 2003 (under humanitarian conditions).
Conditions Treated with DBS
Video: DBS for Parkinson's Disease
Click on the video in the top right corner of this page to watch a past "Ask the Experts" presentation on DBS for Parkinson's disease by Ludy Shih, MD and Efstathios Papavassiliou, MD.