Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a functional neuromodulatory technique that involves the use of a neurostimulator to deliver electrical impulses to the brain. It primarily alleviates the motor symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases; however, it has been found beneficial in a multitude of neurological and psychiatric diseases, such as dystonia, essential tremor, Tourette syndrome, intractable pain, epilepsy, treatment-resistant depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Nonmotor symptoms, such as neurobehavioral disorders, autonomic dysfunction, sleep dysfunction, and somatosensory dysfunction, play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases and have a significant impact on the quality of life. The effects of deep brain stimulation on these symptoms are not yet apparent, although early results are promising and warrant future investigations. The main problem in interpretation is the lack of studies in this field, as most have methodological issues or small sample sizes, which limit the strength of the evidence. However, it is clear that DBS has a promising future in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases in general and will have a vital role in personalized medicine as functional neuroimaging and our understanding of brain physiology improve.
Part of the book: Neurostimulation and Neuromodulation in Contemporary Therapeutic Practice