Description
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure involving the implantation of a medical device called a neurostimulator (sometimes referred to as a 'brain pacemaker'), which sends electrical impulses, through implanted electrodes, to specific targets in the brain (brain nuclei) for the treatment of movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. DBS in select brain regions has provided therapeutic benefits for otherwise-treatment-resistant disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, chronic pain, major depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Despite the long history of DBS, its underlying principles and mechanisms are still not clear. DBS directly changes brain activity in a controlled manner, its effects are reversible (unlike those of lesioning techniques), and it is one of only a few neurosurgical methods that allow blinded studies.