How to Change Your Dystonia Game with DBS

Playing games with your mind?

That’s exactly what experts believe you should do to stimulate your brain and stay sharp, no matter how old you are.

You might be surprised to learn that not only do such brain-boosting strategies exist in the techy gaming world, but deep brain stimulation also takes on another unique form for medical treatments – a treatment that helps serve dystonia patients.

Dystonia is a painful, disabling disease whose cause in many cases remains unknown.

Historically, it has been treated with a variety of methodologies, but deep brain stimulation (DBS) is emerging as a viable treatment option for selected patients with dystonia.

And so enters a lucky selected patient – Michael Richardson.

A son who traveled Mexico with his parents as a missionary.

A dad who appreciates nature and hiking woodland trails with his son.

A dystonia patient who was diagnosed at 13 and selected for deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery by celebrated neurologist and researcher, Dr. DeLong from Emory University Hospital.

His story recounts his symptoms, his treatment journey, and his experience with DBS surgery.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Surgery

Before the advent of modern drugs, DBS surgery began in the early 1900s.

Surgeons used a variety of operations aimed at destroying certain areas of the brain in order to relieve severe tremors and rigidity.

Fast forward to today: neurosurgeons hope to treat some neurological disorders like dystonia by putting advanced arrays of electrodes into patients’ brains.

Consider the Risks

Although the procedure is relatively safe with a small likelihood of injury and mortality, there are risks of DBS surgery to consider:

  • Generalized risks of surgery
  • Higher risk of infection
  • Side effects
  • Device complications
  • High cost

Reap the Rewards

Deep brain stimulation surgery can have a significant effect in easing the symptoms of dystonia, but it is important to go into the operation with realistic expectations.

Adaptability to Change

As your dystonia changes over time, the DBS device can be adjusted to better address new or increasing symptoms.

Should new technology, procedures, or treatments for dystonia be developed in the future, the device is also removable with little or no tissue damage.

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