Deep Brain Stimulation is an advanced neuromodulatory therapy that is utilized to restore function in patients with many neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, Esssential and other forms of Tremor, Dystonia and patients with Neuropsychiatric Diseases. The Yale Neuromodulatory Center, led by Dr. Jason Gerrard, MD PhD, is the premier DBS center in Connecticut and one of the most active DBS centers in the NorthEast. Patients with movement disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, essential and other types of tremor and dystonia, are assessed by our team of experts in the Yale Movement Disorders Center. Certain patients with medication refractory neuropsychiatric disorders such as OCD, Depression or Tourrettes Syndrome may also be candidates for neuromodulatory therapies. For patients who are not surgical candidates, the gamma knife may be considered for treatment when appropriate.
The stereotactic intervention is performed with the state of the art equipment and the Yale DBS center at YNHH is the only center in the tri-state area that has the capabilities of performing all types of DBS implantation surgery, including asleep DBS, frame based and frameless DBS. Our one of kind –IMRIS MRI/OR Suite provides us the accuracy of a 3T MRI in the operating room. In addition to his MD, Dr. Gerrard also has a PhD in neurophysiology and those expertise are strongly emphasized during intra-operative mapping and neurophysiological testing.
The common debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness and slowed movements and walking are often well treated with DBS therapy. In addition, deep brain stimulation has been shown to be affective in treating dyskinesias and in dramatically reducing the on/off swings experienced daily by Parkinson’s patients.
Neuromodulation with deep brain stimulation has been shown to be markedly affective in controlling and eliminating tremor. DBS is FDA approved for the treatment of Essential Tremor and is affective at treating a range of tremor types.
Select patients with severe dystonia have found significant benefit in therapy with deep brain stimulation. Patient’s with DYT1 positive dystonia have had good responses and the treatment is FDA approved. The effectiveness of DBS varies depending on the primary or secondary nature of the disease and each patient is thoroughly reviewed.
Neurosurgery has had a long history of providing ablative surgery for psychiatric disease. There has been a recent resurgence of interest in providing reversible, nondestructive neuron-augmentation for psychiatric disorders. of depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Deep brain stimulation has been used in the treatment of selected patients with severe OCD and DBS has an HDE approval from the FDA. The use of neuromodulation in the treatment of other neuropsychiatric disorders such as Major Depressive Disorder and Tourrette’s Syndrome is under study.
Deep Brain Stimulation Neurosurgeons
Jason Gerrard, MD, PhD, FAANS
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and of Neuroscience
Chief, Functional Neurosurgery
Chief, Trauma Neurosurgery, YNHH