Joshua Klemp, M.D., a Providence Medical Center neurosurgeon, has a special
interest in treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and essential
tremor with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Dr. Klemp has experience with
DBS through his residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center where
he saw a high volume of these cases.
DBS therapy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat
the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor,
including shaking, stiffness and difficulty moving. The procedure is relatively
new to the Kansas City area, but has been practiced elsewhere for about
a decade. More than 100,000 patients worldwide have received DBS therapy
for Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor.
During DBS surgery, a small, pacemaker-like device is placed under the
skin in the chest (not in the brain). Very thin wires connect the device
to the patient’s brain, allowing electronic signals to be sent to
an area in the brain that controls movement. These signals block some
of the messages to the brain that cause annoying and disabling shaking
Following the procedure, the doctor adjusts the settings to optimize the
therapy for the specific patient. Getting the initial settings adjusted
correctly for the patient may take several sessions. Over time, the settings
can be adjusted as symptoms change.
Most people don’t feel the stimulation at all as it reduces their
symptoms although some people may feel a brief tingling when the stimulation
is first tuned on. This innovative treatment has been life changing for patients.
Dr. Klemp points to a recent clinical study which has shown that with the
assistance of DBS, patients have been able to reduce medication for tremor
control. In fact, the study indicated that after six months of DBS treatment,
the medication-related side effects for these patients had been reduced
by 44 percent, giving them a much better quality of life.
Most importantly, a few weeks after the procedure the patient can return
to their normal activities.
For more information about deep brain stimulation or Providence Medical
Group Neurosurgery, call 913.955.3300.