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Parkinson patients with tremors that are no longer controlled by medications can now be evaluated and treated at Broward Health North. State-of-the-art neurosurgery called Deep Brain Stimulation uses mild electrical stimulation to block the brain signals that cause tremor. When these tremors are controlled, the patient can resume their activities of daily living. The control device is similar to an advanced cardiac pacemaker and can be turned on and off by the patient.
Parkinson's disease is a motor system disorder which is caused by the progressive loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells, or neurons. Dopamine is a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals within the brain. Loss of dopamine causes the nerve cells to fire out of control, leaving patients unable to direct or control their movement in a normal manner. The disease is both chronic and progressive.There is no single diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease. It is usually diagnosed when the physician can detect signs of the primary symptoms which include:
- Tremor or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
- Rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
- Bradykinesia or slowness of movement
- Postural instability or impaired balance and coordination
The Neurological Institute at Broward Health North provides neurologists, nurses and other specially trained staff to provide comprehensive care for all neurological patients.
The South Florida Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) and their Information and Referral Center is located within the Neurological Institute at Broward Health North. APDA offers a complement of services to Parkinson's patients, their families and caregivers including:
- Respite care
- Support groups
- Community referrals
- Quality of life series
FAQs - What do I need to ask my doctor about Deep Brain Stimulation?