Deep brain stimulation: what can probing deeply into the brain do?

Kim J. Burchiel, M.D.

Kim Burchiel, M.D.

Co-founder, OHSU Brain Institute; Raaf Chair, OHSU Department of Neurological Surgery; President, Society of Neurological Surgeons, Portland, Oregon

Dr. Burchiel is the John Raaf Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at OHSU. Dr. Burchiel's interests include functional and stereotactic neurosurgery, pain surgery and epilepsy surgery. He also researches the physiology of nociception and neuropathic pains, including trigeminal neuralgia, the neurosurgical treatment of movement disorders and image-guided neurosurgery. He is editor of Surgical Management of Pain, (Thieme) which has been referred to as the most comprehensive review in the entire field of neurosurgical pain management.

Deep-brain stimulation (DBS) was first developed in France in 1987. DBS was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in treating a movement disorder known as essential tremor in 1997, for Parkinson's disease in 2002 and dystonia in 2003.

First in the US: As part of an investigational device exemption physician-sponsored clinical trial, Dr. Kim Burchiel was the first neurosurgeon in the United States to use DBS to successfully treat a patient with Parkinson's disease in 1990.

Dr. Burchiel leads the Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery program at OHSU and it encompasses a broad spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical treatments to manage and restore neurological function. Special programs include surgical management of movement disorders, surgical pain management, epilepsy surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, radiosurgery and stereotactic computer assisted neurosurgery.

He also leads OHSU's Surgical Pain Management program, which is a national leader in the treatment of orofacial pains, including trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureaux).