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100th patient undergoes Deep Brain Stimulation at The London Clinic

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A Parkinson’s disease patient has successfully undergone The London Clinic’s 100th deep brain stimulation.

The milestone is a first in the UK private hospital sector and reflects the hospital’s commitment to providing exceptional, innovative medical care.

For people with severe tremors, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a life changing treatment.

DBS first appeared as a mainstream medical treatment in the 1980s, and since then has been a developing area of research.

Mr Erlick Pereira, the clinic’s Lead Neurosurgeon completed the 100th surgery nearly six years after he did the first surgery of its kind at The London Clinic.

Mr Erlick Pereira said: “The London Clinic offers a complete and comprehensive functional neurosurgery service for movement disorders and pain. For people with severe tremors, Parkinson’s disease and dystonia, deep brain stimulation is a life changing treatment.”

“With a lot of degenerative diseases, there are no treatments available that can profoundly improve someone’s life immediately.

“The notion that with neurosurgery one’s function and quality of life can improve straight away, is very satisfying, and exciting.”

DBS surgery involves the implantation of very small wires (electrodes) to the affected/damaged parts deep in the brain, which deliver high-frequency electrical current to address the abnormal movement patterns.

The electrodes are attached to a small pulse generator in the patient’s chest, that sends out pulses similar to a pacemaker.

While DBS is an incredibly innovative and complex treatment, the brain surgery portion of the procedure is minimally invasive for patients, and takes less than an hour, during which the patient is under general anaesthetic.

The full procedure takes less than three hours, and international patients who travel for the treatment can usually fly home around four days after surgery.

Assessing which patients are suitable for DBS is a team-based multidisciplinary procedure, involving neurologists, neuropsychologists, neurosurgeons, movement disorder nurse specialists and anaesthetists.

Consultant Neurologist Professor Francesca Morgante programmed the DBS system following the 100th operation.

She said: “We can deliver this neuromodulation treatment using the most advanced technology, which allows for fine tuning of the stimulation.

“We can personalise it according to patient’s unique clinical features, which is particularly advantageous for those patients with a progressive neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson’s.”

Deep brain stimulation first appeared as a mainstream medical treatment in the 1980s, and since then has been a developing area of research.

Looking to the future, Mr Pereira added “We now have the opportunity to study a group of people with brain implants, to record those brain signals.

“This generates exciting opportunities to increase our understanding of this very complex area.”

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