Vanderbilt Neurosciences / Services / Deep Brain Stimulation Program

Deep Brain Stimulation Program

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) uses electrical stimulation to treat neurological conditions such as dystonia, essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease. While DBS cannot cure these conditions, it can lessen your symptoms and decrease the amount of medicine you need.

Vanderbilt was one of the first medical centers in the U.S. to implant and test DBS, and we continue to be one of the most active academic medical centers performing DBS in the country.

Deep Brain Stimulation: Why Choose Vanderbilt?

When you come to Vanderbilt, you can expect:

  • Depth of experience: Vanderbilt has been a national leader in using DBS to treat movement disorders for more than 20 years. We are also recognized as a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence and treat more than 100 patients per year with DBS.
  • Team approach: Our neurosurgeons work with specialists in movement disorders, neuropsychology and physical therapy to create a customized treatment plan for you.
  • Advanced surgical care: Our surgeons collaborate with our team of engineers to create a digital atlas of your brain to ensure precise placement of the electrodes (wires) in the brain.
  • Patient-centered care: Our program coordinators guide you and your family through the entire process, from pre-surgery testing to programming and upkeep of the DBS system. Our nurse case manager can answer questions about your medications and programming, offer educational resources and connect you with a support group.

Deep Brain Stimulation: Conditions

At Vanderbilt, we use DBS to help treat the symptoms of movement disorders, including:

  • Dystonia: A disorder that causes your muscles to move involuntarily causing abnormal positions. 
  • Essential tremor: A neurological disorder that causes your hands, head, trunk, voice, or legs to shake rhythmically. 
  • Parkinson’s disease: A slowly progressing, degenerative disease that affects movement. Parkinson’s disease is usually associated with symptoms such as tremor, stiffness and slowed movements.

Deep Brain Stimulation: Treatments

Our team of specialists provide a complete cognitive evaluation to determine if DBS is the best treatment for you. 

  • Deep brain stimulation(DBS): DBS is a brain surgery in which small electrodes (wires) are placed deep within specific areas of the brain. These wires are then connected to a pacemaker-like battery pack, known as a neurostimulator, that is implanted in your chest. When activated, the neurostimulator provides continuous high frequency electrical stimulation to the part of the brain responsible for your movement disorder. This stimulation helps to reduce your abnormal movements.

Deep Brain Stimulation: Locations

Nashville
The Village at Vanderbilt
1500 21st Ave South, Suite 1506
Nashville, TN 37212
Map and Directions

Neurologists


Neuropsychologists


Neurosurgeons


Nurses


Tiffany Huff, RN

Program Coordinator

Auronda Lewers, BBA

Case Manager

Jessica Stroh, RN

Deep Brain Stimulation: Referrals

If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss DBS treatment, you will need a referral from your neurologist. Your doctor can call us at (615) 322-0141.

Deep Brain Stimulation: Related Programs