New hope for Parkinson’s patients

WINCHESTER, Va. — Insertion of electrodes and a simulator into a region of the brain and in the upper chest has proven to decrease symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

This surgical option for the disease is now offered at the Winchester Medical Center.
Hospital officials said Keyser resident Dale Sines, 70, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2005. Sines underwent a two-part deep brain stimulator surgical process this fall.
Dr. Lee Selznick placed electrodes in the area of the brain known as the globus pallidus.
The second phase of the process took place last month when the DBS was implanted in Sines’ chest and connected to the electrodes.
Working with Selznick was neurologist Dr. Mariecken Fowler who coordinated the microelectrode recording and programming of the deep brain stimulator.
The first surgical phase involves the insertion of two electrodes into a region of the brain that affect movement. Wires connected to the electrodes are brought through the skull and placed beneath the scalp.
The second part of the surgery involves implanting a DBS in the upper chest and connecting it to the wires beneath the scalp.
After Fowler activated the DBS device, Sines gained immediate relief from a number of the symptoms associated with his disease: his hand tremors stopped, his range of motion increased and he walks more comfortable and confidently. Sines reports his ability to sleep has also remarkably improved.
The treatment is aimed at helping the tremor or rigidity that comes with the disease in most patients. Surgery decreases the amount of medication that is needed to control the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
“We are excited at making this treatment option available,” said Tonya Smith, the vice president of operations at Winchester Medical Center. “This is an innovative service and one that we expect to grow in the coming year.


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