Hollywood first in Australia to deliver latest advancement in Parkinson’s Disease treatment
May 05, 2017
On Monday 8 May, Hollywood Private Hospital (Hollywood) will be the first healthcare facility in Australia to use a new directional system to perform Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and more effectively reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (Parkinson’s).
Parkinson’s is a degenerative condition causing an incurable loss of brain cells which leads to the demise of voluntary movement. This affects a person’s stability and can impact their memory.
Using the directional system, the procedure involves mild electrical impulses which are generated by a stimulator that is implanted around the chest in a similar way to a pacemaker. The electrical stimulation travels along thin wires called leads to specific areas of the brain to target symptoms.
DBS is known for its ability to help individuals with Parkinson’s to regain dexterity and speech, essentially restoring their independence. The treatment can also reduce the patient’s need for medication.
Neurologist, Dr Julian Rodrigues, and Neurosurgeon, Professor Stephen Lewis, will perform the surgery at Hollywood. Professor Jens Volkmann, one of the world’s leading authorities on DBS, is visiting Australia from Germany and will also be in attendance.
Dr Rodrigues said "We previously weren’t able to deliver precise electrical signals through DBS. By using the new directional system to steer the current we can provide a more personalised therapy and can redirect the current post operatively as patients’ symptoms develop."
"The treatment is far more targeted and side effects caused by unwanted stimulation to neighbouring brain areas can be avoided. I’m looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on patients’ quality of life."
Hollywood Chief Executive Officer, Peter Mott, added "This advancement in DBS further enhances our reputation as one of the state’s leading providers of neurological services. Hollywood continues to invest in and deliver the latest treatments in neurology to ensure the best possible patient care and outcomes."
Hollywood is the only private hospital in Western Australia offering DBS. It was also the first facility in Australia to use DBS in conjunction with the AIRO intra-operative CT scanner, a technology that gives surgeons greater accuracy and allows them to scan patients during surgery rather than patients having to be moved to other parts of the hospital.