Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that regulate abnormal impulses. Or, the electrical impulses can affect certain cells and chemicals within the brain.

The amount of stimulation in deep brain stimulation is controlled by a pacemaker-like device placed under the skin in your upper chest. A wire that travels under your skin connects this device to the electrodes in your brain.

Deep brain stimulation is used to treat a number of neurological conditions, such as:

  • Essential tremor
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Dystonia
  • Epilepsy
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder

Deep brain stimulation is also being studied as an experimental treatment for major depression, stroke recovery, addiction and dementia. Clinical trials may be available to candidates for deep brain stimulation.

Mayo Clinic's approach