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Surgical Treatment Options

While surgery can be an effective treatment option for different symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), only the symptoms that previously improved on levodopaThe medication most commonly given to control the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s, usually with carbidopa. It is converted in the brain into dopamine. have the potential to improve after the surgery. Surgical treatment is reserved for PD patients who have exhausted medical treatment of PD tremor or who suffer profound motor fluctuations Changes in the ability to move, often related to medication timing; also called “on-off” fluctuations. (wearing off and dyskinesias). Learn more now about the available surgical treatment options and visit the Ask the Surgical Team forum, where Dr. Kelly D. Foote and Dr. Michael S. Okun answer questions about surgical matters and PD.

Currently, there are two surgical treatments available for people living with PD — deep brain stimulation (DBS) A surgical treatment for Parkinson's disease. A special wire (lead) is inserted into a specific area of the brain responsible for movement. The lead is connected to a pacemaker-like device implanted in the chest region. This device creates electrical pulses, sent through the lead, which “stimulate” the brain and control abnormal brain cell activity. or surgery performed to insert a tube in the small intestine, which delivers a gel formulation of carbidopa A medication used together with levodopa to enhance its effects. When carbidopa is added to levodopa, the dose of levodopa you take can be smaller while still getting the same benefits, with fewer side effects./levodopa (Duopa™).

Page reviewed by Dr. Chauncey Spears, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence.

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