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Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in
Phoenix has launched a new clinic aimed at streamlining the process for the growing number of patients who are potential candidates for Deep Brain Stimulation.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment involving the implantation of a medical device called a "brain pacemaker," which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. DBS in select brain regions has provided remarkable therapeutic benefits for otherwise treatment-resistant movement and affective disorders such as Parkinson's disease, tremor and dystonia.
The new clinic, which is part of the Ali center at the Barrow Neurological Institute, offers patients a comprehensive resource for education, medical evaluation, psychological assessment, imaging, surgery and post surgical monitoring. The one-day a week clinic was launched in July to serve the increasing numbers of patients who travel from all over the nation for DBS evaluation and surgery.
"We have dramatically reduced the waiting and evaluation time for patients," says
Rohit Dhall, MD, who heads the clinic. "In the past, waiting for evaluation and approval for this treatment could be frustrating for patients. So, we have added new resources to the Ali center and established this clinic. It has already become very popular with people from all over
Arizona, and as far away as
Phoenix real estate and development broker
Tommy Zuleger is a patient and fan of the new clinic. "The Ali clinic's process was very efficient," says Zuleger. "The best part of the process was having every physician who was involved in my case working together and talking often about my treatment. I know that DBS isn't a cure, but I feel better than I have in years and I hope that it will help to control my symptoms for years to come."
Dr. Dhall emphasizes that DBS is not an effective treatment for all patients. He says previously a patient could wait up to year to complete the evaluation process. Now, the wait time is four to six weeks. Barrow is a leader in the use of DBS to treat movement disorders. Neurosurgeons and neurologists at Barrow were involved in early clinical trials of the therapy and thus have deep experience that is hard to find in the emerging field.