Deep Brain Stimulation Program
The Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) program at Boston University Medical Campus is a collaborative medical and surgical program offered by the departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor, and Dystonia. This multidisciplinary program combines the efforts of the departments of neurosurgery, neurology, neuropsychiatry, behavioral medicine, anesthesiology, and nursing. Neurosurgical interventions for Parkinson’s disease and tremor have been offered at BUMC since 1996.
A multi-step screening process is used to carefully select patients for this procedure. Some patients who may be candidates for surgery include: 1) patients who do not have good movement control despite optimized medical therapy and 2) patients who have dyskinesia or other side effects which limit the use of Parkinson’s medications.
In the selection process patients are referred by their neurologist for a screening neurological consultation by the neurological DBS program director, Dr. Samuel Ellias. Patients are evaluated with a brain MRI, neuropsychological testing and movement testing with videotaping. The Parkinson’s Day program facilities are used for the motor testing and to assess patient and family understanding and expectations of the procedure. These findings are reviewed by a panel of movement disorder neurologists and nurses in regular meetings before referring the patient to the neurosurgeon for further evaluation. The patient is then seen and evaluated by the DBS neurosurgical director, Dr Keith Davies.Often, further optimization of medications is conducted as part of this evaluation.
Additional education and support for DBS patients, family members, and caregivers is readily available at regular monthly meetings of the BUMC DBS patient support group.
After DBS surgery, follow up neurological care and adjustments of medications and DBS neurostimulators is conducted by Dr Samuel Ellias and Dr Anna Hohler in conjunction with DBS nurse Keith Ciccone.
Community Educational Support
Dr. Samuel Ellias has lectured extensively on DBS and movement disorders. He is available to give lectures on the medical and surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease to patient support groups in New England area.
For Further Information
DBS Nurse Coordinator
Movement Disorder Neurologists
- Samuel A. Ellias, MD, PhD, Neurological Director of DBS Program
- Marie Saint Hilaire, MD, FRCPC, Director of Movement Disorders
- Samuel Frank, MD
- Anna Hohler, MD