Conditions We Treat with DBS

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be used to treat various types of movement disorders, including:

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a type of neurological disorder. It develops when the dopamine-producing brain cells no longer manufacture this important substance, which promotes normal brain function.

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease may include tremor, stiffness, slowness and balance problems.

Although there is no cure yet for Parkinson’s disease, medications combined with DBS may help control motor symptoms.

Essential tremor

Essential tremor is the most common type of movement disorder. It is more common as we age, and also may be inherited.

Symptoms of essential tremor may include small rapid movements of your arms, hands, head or trunk, and possibly voice quivering. Unlike Parkinson's disease, tremor occurs with action and movement, rather than when you are at rest.

DBS can be very successful in improving essential tremor symptoms.


Dystonia is a condition of the central nervous system that causes involuntary muscle contractions. These movements often cause painful muscle tension, pulling, twisting and contortion of the arms, legs, head and neck, and/or face.

The FDA has approved Swedish to offer deep brain stimulation as a treatment for dystonia.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Swedish is one of the few deep brain stimulation programs approved by the FDA to offer it as a treatment for OCD when the patient’s symptoms are resistant to traditional OCD treatments.

OCD is an anxiety disorder. Symptoms may include obsessive thoughts, compulsive rituals, and repetitive behaviors.

Although there is no cure for OCD at this time, deep brain stimulation may help reduce some OCD symptoms.

Learn more about movement disorders here.