Central Illinois residents who suffer from movement disorders such as Parkinson disease were invited to participate in a free seminar on the latest advances, including Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery Tuesday, April 30th at the Dove Conference Center, St. John’s Hospital, 619 E. Mason Street from 5 until 6:30 p.m. Featured speakers were Dr. Rodger Elble, Professor in the Department of Neurology, Dr. Jeffrey Cozzens, Professor and Chair of the Division of Neurosurgery and Charlene Young, family nurse practitioner in the Department of Neurology.
Parkinson disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that continues and worsens over time. Nearly one million people in the U.S. are living with it. The cause is unknown and there is presently no cure but there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms.
Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Parkinson's primarily affects neurons in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.
The specific group of symptoms that an individual experiences varies from person to person. Primary motor signs of Parkinson disease including tremors, slowness of movement, rigidity or stiffness of the climbs and trunk and/or impaired balance and coordination.
Even though there is no cure at present, there are many clinical trials that appear hopeful. Parkinson disease affects the entire family,” claims Dr. Elble. “Surgical options like DBS don’t cure the disease but often give appropriate patients a better quality of life.
DBS is a surgical procedure that improves brain function in Parkinson disease, dystonia, essential tremor and other movement disorders. During the procedure, a neurosurgeon implants a small, battery-operated device similar to a heart pacemaker under the skin near the collarbone. Wires from the device are then connected to tiny electrodes that are placed in specific targets in the brain. Once turned on, the implanted device sends electrical pulses to the electrodes, thereby blocking abnormal nerve activity. Dr. Cozzens has performed more than 450 DBS procedures and Dr. Elble is a movement disorders specialist with over 30 years of experience.