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Deep Brain Stimulation Program

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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) Lissa Kapust, LCSW; Margaret O'Connor, PhD: David K. Simon, MD, PhD; Michael D. Fox, MD, PhD; Veronique Vanderhorst, MD, PhD; (Front row from left to right) Althea Silver, RN, MPH; Ludy Shih, MD; Daniel Tarsy, MD; Ron Alterman, MD; Efstathios Papavassiliou, MD.


  • Michael D. Fox. MD, PhD, Neurology, Director, Deep Brain Stimulation Program
  • Daniel Tarsy, MD, Neurology
  • David K. Simon, MD, PhD, Neurology
  • Veronique Vanderhorst, MD, PhD, Neurology


  • Efstathios Papavassiliou, MD, Neurosurgery
  • Ron Alterman, MD, Neurosurgery

Cognitive Neurology

  • 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).

View our General Deep Brain Stimulation Information Guide

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.

DBS Ambassador Program

The DBS Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for people contemplating DBS to hear from people who have had DBS, to learn about the device, the procedure, and the evaluation process.

Contact Information

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Department of Neurology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue, Boston MA 02215
Information: 617-667-9885
Appointments: 617-667-0519