DBS Programming, Deep Brain Stimulation Programming

Published: 26th May 2010
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Evergreen is Changing Lives with Expert Deep Brain Stimulation Programming

Dealing with Parkinson's disease can be tough for both patients and their loved ones. Parkinson's patients often have to deal with tremors, slowness of movement, problems with talking, walking and balance and rigid muscles. Even though there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, there are many medicines and surgical treatments that can help alleviate these symptoms. Evergreen Hospital's Booth Gardner Parkinson's Care Center offers a number of revolutionary treatments, like Deep Brain Stimulation Programming, which have drastically improved the quality of life for people across the country.

Charlene Lustig is one of those people. Lustig became a patient at the Booth Gardener Parkinson's Care Center back in 1990, when a neurotransmitter that was implanted at another medical facility for Deep Brain Stimulation failed to operate properly. The malfunction of this revolutionary device designed to help alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's left Lustig unable to speak. She also lost movement on the left side of her body. To make matters worse, Lustig's doctors told her there was nothing else they could do for her.

In order for the neurotransmitter to work effectively, it needed to be programmed correctly. That's where the experienced professionals of the Booth Gardner Parkinson's Care Center stepped in. Lustig connected with Evergreen's Neurostimulation Program Coordinator, Sierra Farris, through online research. Working in partnership with Evergreen's movement disorders specialist Monique Giroux, MD, Farris has seen more than 4,000 patients with Parkinson's and has programmed more than 400 with DBS. She took it upon herself to learn everything she could from anyone she could - both in the United States and in Europe - and now uses that knowledge to offer a level of expertise not found anywhere else in the country.

Farris suspected that Lustig's complications were due to errant Deep Brain Stimulation programming. Farris made the proper adjustments to Lustig's DBS programming and medications, and soon Lustig improved by leaps and bounds. She regained her ability to speak and move on her left side.

"Every patient - every patient's symptoms - are different," explains Farris, who typically spends a week with a patient who's experiencing problems, delving into why the DBS device isn't relieving their Parkinson's symptoms. "Sometimes, it all comes down to good detective work."

Lustig's nightmare is over now thanks to her medical angel, Sierra Farris. "Sierra is remarkable," Lustig enthuses. "I tell her she's my medical angel." Lustig now receives all her Parkinson's care at the Booth Gardner Parkinson's Care Center. "Everyone at the center is so focused on helping the patients. It's been worth every penny to fly here from my home in Nevada."

Farris praises the center's continuity of care. "Patients don't see a different programmer every time they come to the clinic," she points out. But even more important, Farris says, is the center's 'patients first' philosophy. "I credit our success to teamwork, respect and doing what's best for the patient."

If you are interested in the Parkinson's treatment options offered at Evergreen's Booth Gardner Parkinson's Care Center, visit www.evergreenhospital.org . Learn more about our DBS programming solutions today.

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