Deep Brain Stimulation
Joshua Klemp, M.D., a Providence 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 around 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.
Some people may feel a brief tingling when the stimulation is first tuned on.
A few weeks after the procedure, the patient can return to normal daily
DBS extends the control patients receive from their medication for movement
symptoms of Parkinson's disease. As a result, most patients take less
medication. In a clinical study, by six months, DBS had reduced medication-related
side effects by 44 percent.
For more information about deep brain stimulation or Providence Medical
Group Neurosurgery, call 913-955-3300.