If you are diagnosed with epilepsy, you will undergo an epilepsy-specific surgical evaluation. DBS may be also an option for certain children with epilepsy.
If you have a movement disorder, you will undergo a unique evaluation process to help your doctors determine whether DBS is a good option for you. For your convenience, we try to schedule appointments across several clinics on the same day, whenever possible. Our patient coordinators work closely with you through each step of this process.
A specialized neurologist with expertise in diagnosing and treating movement disorders (these doctors are called movement disorders specialists) evaluates your symptoms, educates you about DBS, the surgical evaluation process, and the benefits you may expect after undergoing the procedure. They may also make medication recommendations.
Your neurosurgeon will discuss the more technical aspects of the surgery, including risks, benefits, and recovery.
On-Off Medication Appointment
This appointment is only for people with certain types of movement disorders, like Parkinson’s. You will be asked to stop taking your Parkinson’s medications for a short period of time before the appointment. You will be evaluated both before and after taking your medications. This allows your movement disorders specialist to understand the range and severity of your symptoms and to assess your responsiveness to medications, which helps to predict how you might respond to DBS.
A neuropsychologist -- a specialist who assesses cognitive functions and behaviors -- will administer detailed tests to screen for dementia, impulsive tendencies, or any other signs of cognitive or behavioral impairment. This is important since DBS is not recommended for people with some of these conditions.
Your doctors will meet to review the results of your evaluations. Together they will decide whether DBS is a good option for you. If so, they will determine the best target site in your brain for DBS implantation and select the most appropriate DBS device for you. They will also make recommendations about whether general anesthesia (“asleep surgery”) or minimal sedation (“awake surgery”) is best for you.
You will also be scheduled for an MRI scan that will help your doctors plan the surgery. You may complete a pre-anesthesia assessment to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery.