The Doctors - Alex's DBS Treatment

Three years ago, The Doctors met Alex, a young woman diagnosed with dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes the muscles to contract and spasm uncontrollably. The contractions force the body into repetitive and often twisting movements, as well as awkward, irregular postures, which halted Alex's career as a dance teacher.

Presently, there is no cure for dystonia, but multiple treatment options exist, including physical, speech and voice therapy, medications, Botox and surgery known as Deep Brain Stimulation.

Alex returned to The Doctors and learned that she was a candidate for deep-brain stimulation as a treatment for her dystonia. Thanks to generous donations from viewers, and the doctors at Mass General Hospital, Alex underwent the procedure. The procedure is a high-risk surgery that implants a battery-powered neurotransmitter into the brain to interrupt pathways responsible for the involuntary spasms experienced by dystonia sufferers. Patients remain awake during DBS so doctors can monitor their motor responses and make sure other areas of the brain aren't affected during the operation. While some patients have reported significant improvement after surgery, there is no guarantee that DBS will help everyone.

To view The Doctor's segment on Alex's  treatmentrecommended - Deep Brain Stimulation CLICK HERE


Last update: Jan 2016