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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago


Functional Neurosurgical Treatment

Thalamic Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

Deep brain stimulation surgery has been safely and effectively used to treat essential and other tremors for 20 years.

Patients with essential and other tremors are considered candidates for deep brain stimulation if their tremors are uncontrolled despite adequate trials of several medications. A patient is also a candidate if he or she experiences medication side effects, such as slow heartbeat or sleepiness.

Deep brain stimulation can dramatically reduce hand tremor in those people with essential tremor. In many cases, the tremor can be eliminated. Most people experience at least 75 percent relief. This effect may last for many years, with occasional programming adjustments needed to maintain the effects.

Tremor due to other causes (multiple sclerosis, brain trauma) is more difficult to control, requires more frequent programming adjustments and may only provide 50 percent tremor relief. However, this may be a significant aid to someone who is disabled by tremor.


You may e-mail us at dbs@northwestern.edu for more information about surgery for essential and other tremor disorders.

Last UpdateJune 8, 2011