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Date: 28 September 2018

The London Clinic has continued its pioneering deep brain stimulation (DBS) service that aims to improve the quality of life for patients with chronic pain and movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. 

The team at work during the operation

This follows on from the news in May 2018 when a patient with Parkinson’s disease successfully underwent a pioneering form of deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery.

An international patient with Parkinson’s disease has received DBS with a new brain pacemaker in its first use in the UK.  Thanks to a charitable donation, hospital charitable subsidies and a donated device implant, a team of top deep brain stimulation neurosurgeons at The London Clinic was able to meticulously plan the complex brain surgery over several weeks. The DBS implants were designed by Tsinghua University and manufactured by Beijing PINS Medical Company, Ltd.

Mr Erlick Pereira, Consultant Neurosurgeon, performed the challenging surgery over six hours with support from Professor Dipankar Nandi, Professor Tipu Aziz and Dr Audrey Tan.

Professor Aziz reviewed the patient in Bangladesh two months after surgery. The patient had considerably improved in walking, sleep and quality of life.

“I am delighted with my whole experience at The London Clinic from the caring staff to my quick recovery and want to thank everyone for making this possible. Deep brain stimulation has transformed my life. I am now able to enjoy many activities that I previously could not", says the patient, who did not wish to be named.

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating progressive neurological disease that affects an estimated seven million people worldwide. The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremor, slow movement and stiffness.

DBS is a neurosurgical procedure where electrodes are implanted with pinpoint accuracy into the areas of the brain that control movement. The electrodes, after connection to a pacemaker in the chest, then send precise electrical signals to the targeted areas to help reduce the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

With the Chinese device implanted for the first time in the UK by The London Clinic DBS team, patients’ DBS settings can be controlled by a neurologist remotely over the internet, giving greater control over their Parkinson’s disease symptoms without needing to travel long distances to specialised neurology clinics, a feature of great appeal in resource limited settings.

Mr Pereira, one of the UK’s busiest DBS neurosurgeons who has established the pioneering DBS service at The London Clinic says: “I am touched by the charitable donations that gave us the opportunity to perform this successful brain operation that will transform the life of this patient who did not have access to it in their own country.  The therapy will dramatically improve the patient’s symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and quality of life.

The operation team pose outside The London Clinic

“For patient comfort, the surgery was performed under general anaesthesia, using a minimally invasive technique rarely done elsewhere with only 2mm holes in the head for the electrodes and hardly any hair removal. The electrode positions are excellent and the patient is doing well.”

“This deep brain stimulation surgery was only made possible thanks to The London Clinic’s charitable ethos and core values. Everybody from the Executive Board through to the International Office and concierge service pulled together to help make this patient’s dream a reality, from overcoming challenges with visas to finding affordable accommodation for relatives,” adds Mr Pereira.

Find out more about DBS at London Deep Brain Stimulation.

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