Medtronic is the world’s largest medical technology company developing various pieces of equipment to help improve one’s quality of life. A representative from this company worked with Valley-Wide Physical Therapy Director, Ashley Koppenhafer to bring a special presentation on Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to the San Luis Valley residents suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. John McVicker, Neurosurgeon, with Memorial Hospital and Dr. Richard Salazar, Neurologist, with Parkview Medical Center presented on the movement disorder and how DBS would help to alleviate some of the symptoms.
Deep brain stimulation helps to modulate neurological signals produced within the brain. It is an alternative to more conservative treatment via medications. It is a pace-maker device implanted under the skin with electrodes going into the area of the brain that controls movement. When the device is turned on, a patient with Parkinson’s Disease has less shaky movements and decreased presence of a hand tremor. It can also help improve gait pattern and decrease all over body stiffness. This treatment is not for everyone but a very good option if someone is suffering from the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
Valley-Wide Physical Therapy helps to coordinate a support group for those living with Parkinson’s Disease and other disabling neurological conditions. The group meets every third Wednesday of the month at 4pm at The Bridge. If interested, contact Ashley Koppenhafer at the Alamosa Physical Therapy clinic at (719) 589-5149.