Treatments and Technologies
OhioHealth Movement Disorder experts work closely with you and your family to understand how your condition impacts your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Our top priority is to accurately diagnose your movement disorder and provide you with a treatment plan that maximizes your quality of life.
Conditions That We Treat
We offer patients the latest, most effective medications for Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. Our experts have experience with all available prescription drugs, including oral medications, injectable medications, inhalation medications and infusion medications. Your doctor can explain which medications will be the best to treat your condition.
Research and Clinical Trials
We are active participants in ongoing movement disorders research and clinical trials. Currently, our main focus is on Parkinson disease genetics, exercise and freezing of gait. However, as our faculty grows, we plan to bring in more areas of research in the coming years.
Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery
For people with Parkinson's disease, essential tremor or dystonia, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery may significantly relieve symptoms. During this semi-awake procedure, our neurosurgeons implant electrodes deep in the brain. The electrodes are connected by soft wires under the skin to a stimulator device that is placed beneath the skin of the chest. The device acts like a brain pacemaker, sending electrical signals directly to the areas of the brain that control body movement. The pacemaker can be programmed, in real time, to reduce or eliminate your symptoms. While DBS surgery is not a cure for movement disorders, it can make symptoms much easier to manage.
Not all people with Parkinson’s disease or movement disorders are candidates for deep brain stimulation. Our DBS movement disorders specialist will discuss with you your health history, symptoms, medications and goals for function and quality of life. They will then confirm that you have been diagnosed correctly, and will collaborate with our therapy team, a neuropsychologist, and a DBS neurosurgeon to confirm that you are a candidate for the procedure.
If you’re having motor fluctuations on your medications and DBS surgery is not an option, you may be a candidate for DuopaTM therapy.
- Patient navigator
If you are a candidate for DBS surgery, we will connect you with our patient navigator, who is your contact for scheduling all presurgical and follow-up appointments. Your navigator can also provide details our therapy and wellness programs, give you information about insurance, and address any questions or concerns you may have.
- Inpatient surgery – Electrode implants
During deep brain stimulation surgery, you will be semi-awake, which means that you are asleep while the neurosurgeon makes tiny holes in your skull, then awake while the surgeon implants the electrodes with guidance by the DBS neurologist and imaging, then asleep again to complete the surgery. The entire procedure lasts about four hours, and you will stay in the hospital overnight.
Our neurosurgeon uses the latest robotic surgical techniques to target the precise area of the brain that’s causing your tremors or body movements, through a hole in your skull no larger than a pinhead.
You will not experience pain during the awake portion of the procedure, because brain tissue does not feel pain. Our DBS neurologist will be at your side the entire time you’re awake, talking with you and listening for a specific sound the electrodes make when they’ve reached the precise target in the brain. We also use imaging to confirm proper placement.
- Outpatient surgery – Battery implant
Two weeks after your brain surgery, you’ll return for an outpatient surgical procedure that involves running the DBS wiring from the electrodes in your head beneath the skin to a battery that is also implanted under the skin, near your collarbone.
You will need to visit the DBS neurologist approximately once a month until we’ve determined your device is at the exact right setting to manage your symptoms. The device’s battery lasts from three to five years.
High-intensity Focused Ultrasound
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU or FUS) is an incisionless treatment option for Parkinson disease tremor and essential tremor. Unlike traditional neurosurgery, this advanced treatment is completed as an outpatient procedure inside an MRI scanner while you are awake. The MRI scanner allows the neurosurgeon to precisely visualize the anti-tremor brain target. Low-intensity ultrasound waves are then used to sequentially “stun” portions of the visualized target area to find the exact microscopic brain location that eliminates the tremor. High-intensity ultrasound waves are then used to “kill” the same microscopic target to eliminate the tremor. As a result, most patients walk out of the procedure with minimal, if any, residual tremor. This treatment takes on average 2-3 hours with a short recovery time after which patients can return home the same day.
For specific questions or to learn more related to focused ultrasound treatment, please contact our Movement Disorders Team directly at FocusedUltrasound@ohiohealth.com.