Podcast Episode 112: Non-pharmaceutical Treatments for PD: DBS and Focused Ultrasound

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Not all medical interventions for Parkinson’s disease (PD) involve drugs. Two other main treatments are deep brain stimulation (DBS) and focused ultrasound (FUS). DBS uses a surgically implanted electrical pulse generator connected to electrodes placed in the brain to stimulate areas involved in PD. FUS does not require surgery but aims ultrasound –  high frequency sound waves – at a specific area of the brain to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms.

Each technology has its uses, advantages, and disadvantages. In this podcast episode, Kyle Mitchell, MD of Duke University in North Carolina discusses the two treatments, how each works, which patients may do best with either of them, and some caveats. He also looks ahead at what is in development.

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About This Episode

Released: September 7, 2021

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Kyle Mitchell, MD

Kyle Mitchell, MD is an assistant professor in neurology at Duke University and a movement disorders specialist. In the clinic, he treats patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. He is an expert in complex deep brain stimulation (DBS) evaluation as well as intraoperative and postoperative DBS programming and care. He also manages and studies interdisciplinary evaluations and care of people with Parkinson’s disease. His research focuses on improving deep brain stimulation. He works in collaboration with engineers and neurosurgeons on developing new technology to enhance the effectiveness and reduce side effects of DBS. He also studies patient outcomes of people with DBS to help improve how we target specific brain structures and how we select patients who are most likely to benefit from surgery. He has published in multiple neurology and neurosurgery peer reviewed journals and books and has presented his research at international conferences and educational events. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, Movement Disorders Society, and the Parkinson’s Study Group and is part of Duke’s Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence.

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For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.

For more insights on this topic, listen to our podcast episode “A Health Professional’s Experience Living with Parkinson’s Disease.”

This episode is made possible with an educational grant from:

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The information and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the presenters and moderator only and do not necessarily reflect those of Medtronic.


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