Dr. Okun publishes overview of deep brain stimulation for PD in New England Journal of Medicine

Deep brain stimulation has come a long way in ten years and UF is on the forefront of developments in safety, efficacy and new uses for the technology. In the article published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Okun discusses the potential benefits and risks of the use of deep brain stimulation in the treatment of a specific Parkinson patient. The results of clinical trials, current clinical uses, adverse effects, brain target choices, and the importance of an interdisciplinary team are also discussed.

This article and the use of DBS to treat other disorders were discussed in the Gainesville Sun this week as well. Drs. Okun & Foote were interviewed:

“When we started in 2002, there were only a handful of places in the U.S. that did it. There was a lot of skepticism about the operation from internists and neurologists,” said Dr. Michael Okun, a neurologist at UF. “Now it has gone from crazy to cool to completely accepted.”

Foote described one OCD patient in his 30s who was obsessed with perfection. “Questions would paralyze him. His mother used to leave him, and he’d be in the same place six hours later,” Foote explained. “People thought he was psychotic or catatonic.”

After deep-brain stimulation, Foote continued, the patient smiled for the first time. “He was unfrozen. He was a prisoner in his own brain.”

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Charles Jacobson

Chuck Jacobson maintains the UFMDC Research and Clinical database called INFORM.

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