DBS for Parkinson’s Disease

Colin Halstead, OHSU patient, was able to return to his hobbies soon after he had DBS to treat Parkinson's disease.
Colin Halstead, OHSU patient, was able to return to his hobbies soon after he had DBS to treat Parkinson's disease.

If you or someone you love has Parkinson’s, you may know that deep brain stimulation surgery is an option. But you might not know that DBS is not just for advanced Parkinson’s. It can be part of your Parkinson’s treatment plan early, so discuss this option with your neurologist.

OHSU is an international leader. Our neurosurgeon, Dr. Kim Burchiel, was not just the first physician to do DBS in the United States – he was the first to offer patients "asleep" DBS while the patient is under general anesthesia. This site explains what DBS is, how it works and if you might be a candidate. It also tells you how DBS is done at OHSU and why you don’t have to be awake during the procedure.

Learn more about what DBS is and why you do not need to be awake during surgery.

Learn about the DBS appointment process and how you may be able to have some appointments by telemedicine.

What is DBS?

DBS stands for “deep brain stimulation.” This surgery for Parkinson’s and other movement disorders can reduce symptoms such as action tremor of the hands and wrists, slow movement (bradykinesia), and rigid muscles. DBS does not slow down or cure Parkinson’s, but it can improve your quality of life.

If you are looking for more information on DBS, the OHSU Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Program can help. Learn more about:

From a wheelchair to the tennis court

DBS helped ease the effects of Parkinson's for Akemi Noll. Read the article

Are you a candidate?

You might feel ready for DBS now. Or you might just be gathering information. Either way, you can read our list of candidate criteria and talk with your neurologist about DBS treatment. 

Find out if you are a DBS candidate.

Deep brain stimulation at OHSU

DBS appointments include a complete evaluation to review your symptoms and medication first. Whether you live in the Portland area or elsewhere, we go out of our way to make appointments and testing as convenient as possible. The process is outlined in five steps that includes follow up appointments after surgery to ensure the best care.

Learn about DBS appointments at OHSU

If you have questions or would like our assistance in requesting a referral from your neurologist, please call us at 503-494-4314.

Our expertise

We have 25 years of experience with DBS, with more than 1,800 procedures performed. Our neurosurgeon Dr. Kim Burchiel did the first successful DBS surgery in the United States. Learn more about our DBS expertise.