What Is Deep Brain Stimulation For Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

Progressive supranuclear palsy is one of the uncommon disorders of the human brain, which causes severe problems with eye movements, balance, walking, and later on, with swallowing of foods. The disorder takes place from cells’ deterioration in the brain areas responsible to control coordination, body movements, thinking, and various other essential functions.(1)

PSP takes place whenever brain cells in specific areas of the brain suffer damages because of the buildup of tau protein. Tau forms naturally in the human brain and often breaks down before it approaches high levels. However, if a person has PSP, tau fails to break properly and creates harmful clumps within the brain cells.(2)

Symptoms at the initial stages of progressive supranuclear palsy are falling spells, inability to move or walk, and stiffness. However, a few people with PSP experience certain personality changes, forgetfulness, and lacking interest in socializing with friends and family members.(3)

What Is Deep Brain Stimulation For Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?

Deep Brain Stimulation For Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Doctors conduct deep brain stimulation procedures to treat a few of the patients suffering from the condition of progressive supranuclear palsy.

This method utilizes a surgically implanted electrode in combination with the pulse generator. The device stimulates the human brain to block various signals, which can cause most of the motor symptoms.(4)

In the procedure of deep brain stimulation, doctors place the electrodes on both left and right sides of the patient’s brain with the help of small holes created at the top area of the skull. Long wires connect the electrodes, which travel below the skin and down the patient’s neck to stimulator-powered with the help battery below the chest skin. When you turn on the stimulator, it sends signals in the form of electrical pulses to block various faulty nerve signals, which cause rigidity, tremors, and other related symptoms.

Patients use handheld controllers for turning on and off the DBS system. On the other side, doctors will program the settings of the stimulator by using a wireless device. The settings of a stimulator are adjustable according to the changes in the condition of a patient with time.(6)

Other Surgical Procedures For Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Gastrotomy For Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Doctors recommend a minimally invasive type of surgical procedure referred to as gastrostomy in the case of the progressive supranuclear palsy condition. This surgical method involves the insertion or placement of a suitable feeding tube from the abdominal skin within the stomach to fulfill the feeding requirements. However, this type of surgery becomes essential only when people experience swallowing disturbances and stay at a risk related to severe choking of foods.(4)

The main objective of the gastrotomy procedure is to avoid normal swallowing to deal with varieties of neurological conditions, like dementia, stroke and PSP, and anatomical situations. Doctors perform this procedure under moderate sedation or local anesthesia. They may even give you certain antibiotic medicines in advance to avoid any type of infection depending on your condition. Before the procedure, you have to lie on your abdomen on a specially designed C-arm table used mainly to image the procedures.(5)

Along with this, doctors recommend a few additional types of surgical procedures, which are almost similar to the ones recommended in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. However, analyzing the effects of respective surgical methods needs more research work in the case of progressive supranuclear palsy patients.(4)

Conclusion

Depending on the condition of patients, doctors recommend for deep brain stimulation and gastrotomy surgical procedures to deal with severe symptoms of patients suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy.

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