Functional neurosurgery is concerned with the treatment of conditions where central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) function is abnormal although the structure or anatomy is normal. Examples of conditions treated by functional neurosurgery are pain, movement disorders (Parkinson's disease and tremor), psychiatric conditions and pain.
Epilepsy is a condition characterized by the occurrence of seizures, transient alterations in consciousness resulting from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. At ANS our team of specially trained neurosurgeons evaluates each patient to design the best treatment plan.
Procedures include implantation of electrodes to identify epileptic parts of the brain, removal of epileptic parts of the brain, separation of the two sides of the brain, vagal nerve stimulation and thalamic stimulation.
To the left is an example of electroencephalographic signals during onset of a seizure. Surgical excision of the area of seizure onset or electrical stimulation of that area can be used to relieve seizures.
For more information about Epilepsy, visit the Epilepsy Foundation of America website.
Deep brain stimulation
Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, is a procedure to treat Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, essential tremor or tremor due to multiple sclerosis. This type of brain surgery uses electrodes implanted within the brain to deliver pulses of energy that block the abnormal activity in the brain. DBS can relieve patients from tremors, slow movements, stiffness and balance problems often associated with movement disorders. The stimulation can be adjusted to meet each patient’s individual needs as they change over time. In the past, surgeons treated movement disorder with methods that involved destroying brain tissue, with irreversible results. With DBS, abnormal activity of brain cells near the implanted electrode can be controlled without damaging brain tissue.
Movement disorders are abnormalities of movement characterized by increased movement (e.g. Tremor or dystonia) or by the absence of movement (Parkinson's disease).
Pain serves as an important signal that the body has been injured or is about to be injured. However, following some painful stimuli or injuries to the nervous system, pain persists in the absence of any ongoing tissue injury. There are many medical and physical therapy options for the treatment of this type of chronic pain. When these options are exhausted, patients may be candidates for surgical approaches to the treatment of their chronic pain. (see pain management section )