Implantable Device Can Help Parkinson’s Patients
At 41, Giselle Casimiro never thought she would hear the words “you have Parkinson’s Disease”.
“When I would walk, I would stumble forward, and when I would turn around, I would lose my balance,” says Giselle.
Deep Brain Stimulation Can Control Tremors
The busy mom went to see Henry Moore, M.D., a UHealth neurologist who specializes in movement disorders.
“Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative condition, meaning it’s a disease in which the cells of the brain, called neurons, start dying. The main symptom is slowness of movements. Other symptoms include tremors, usually at rest. So, when the hands are at rest, they start shaking,” Dr. Moore explains.
When medication stopped controlling her symptoms, Dr. Moore recommended Giselle undergo a revolutionary surgery. A procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS, is proving to be highly effective in patients like Giselle, by controlling symptoms such as tremors, slowness, and stiffness. It’s where electrodes implanted in the brain are connected to a small battery in the chest, can be life changing.
“She was able to reduce her medications by half. No involuntary movements,” says Dr. Moore.
“I go with my husband for maybe two and a half mile walks every day,” Giselle says.
Watch as Giselle’s tremors get worse when she turns the device off. Then, back on, the shaking stops. She was able to host her son’s wedding and says Dr. Moore and the UHealth team have given her hope for the future.
“I would like for one day for there to be a cure,” says Giselle.
Henry Moore, M.D. is a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders at the University of Miami Health System. For information on treatments for Parkinson’s Disease, click here.
Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10. For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.