Stopping the shakes
Posted By: Jenn Hatcher
Diagnosed with essential tremors in her late 20’s, Katherine Heng had seen multiple specialists. Heng explains, “It was to the point you can’t hold food on your fork or your spoon, you can’t eat. So, eating in public was an embarrassment.”
Everything changed in 2009, when she met Dr. Benjamin Gelber with Bryan Health. He recommended Heng undergo the Deep Brain Stimulation procedure.
She made an appointment right away. Heng says, “For me it was kind of like dying and going to heaven, it was like I had a new lease on life, I had a chance to do everything.”
According to Bryan Health deep brain stimulation is used to treat a number of movement disorders including Parkinson’s and Essential Tremor. This may be an option for patients who do not agin satisfactory control of their tremors with medication. During the surgical procedure, electrodes are placed in the brain and a deep brain stimulator (DBS) is implanted in a shoulder pocket similar to a pacemaker. The patient is required to return to the office in several weeks after healing has occurred. At this time, the DBS will be turned on. Optimal settings for tremor control may require several office appointment visits. A fast track clinic for patient evaluation currently is available.
Dr. Gelber says, “For the essential tremor it can virtually make the tremor disappear which can restore the patient to almost normal functioning.” Heng says it’s done just that, admitting her quality of life is greatly improved, she adds, “I would be living in a nursing home because I couldn’t care for myself at home.”
PLEASE WATCH THE ENTIRE VIDEO, WHERE HENG DEMONSTRATES THE DIFFERENCE WITH AND WITHOUT, DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION.
Doctor Gelber will speak about the procedure at a free seminar later this month.