Parkinson’s disease is a neurological problem that affects how the body moves. It occurs when certain nerve cells do not receive a sufficient amount of a brain chemical called dopamine. This critical brain chemical allows messages to be sent throughout the body to control movement. When the body has insufficient amounts of this chemical, the characteristic trembling, numbness and balance problems of Parkinson’s disease occur.
As a leading provider of senior home care in New Hampshire, we do our best to stay up to date in the latest advancements in elder care. Today, we’re going to provide some information about deep brain stimulation, a new method of treating Parkinson’s that inactivates certain parts of the brain and helps to reduce symptoms.
What Is Deep Brain Stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical technique that implants a 3-part device into the patient to provide electrical pulses to a targeted area of the brain. It is used to help manage tremor and uncontrollable movements associated with Parkinson’s disease. The components include a tiny electrode imbedded in the brain; an insulated wire the passes under the skin of the neck and shoulder; and a battery pack that is inserted near the collarbone or in the chest. The device helps to regulate electrical signals in the brain to relieve symptoms.
Outcomes of Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation has had significant success in some patients, allowing them to reduce their medication and resume normal activities. Deep brain stimulation has been found to be successful in older patients, as well as younger patients. However, in some cases, the procedure can have side effects, such as seizure, stroke, infection, heart problems or breathing problems. Memory problems may also occur.
Candidates for Deep Brain Stimulation
While older patients with Parkinson’s disease can benefit from deep brain stimulation, not all seniors are good candidates. If you are considering this procedure for an aging parent or loved one, schedule an appointment with a Parkinson’s or neurological specialist. They will be able to determine if deep brain stimulation is a viable option and can also help explain the risks, possible outcomes and benefits of the procedure.
For families of seniors living with Parkinson’s, another way to help minimize the symptoms of the disease is to enlist in the help of a professional New Hampshire home caregiver. A caregiver, trained specifically in Parkinson’s care, can assist with a variety of activities such as meal preparation, feeding, bed and wheelchair transfers, light housekeeping, medication reminders and so much more. With the support of a Parkinson’s caregiver, your loved one can continue to enjoy the comfort of home and your family can enjoy peace of mind knowing that a professional and highly trained caregiver is by their side.
For more information about Parkinson’s home care for New Hampshire seniors, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are available 24/7 to answer questions and offer flexible hourly and live-in care with no long-term contracts. Call 603-471-3004 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.