Mike Robbins suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. He explains how a ‘pacemaker’ implanted into his brain – a surgical technique called deep brain stimulation (DBS) – can help to control his symptoms.
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes problems with movement, including tremor, which you can see clearly in the video once Mike turns off his implant. Parkinson's Disease is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain, and gets worse as more nerve cells die. There is currently no cure, but the development of DBS was a major breakthrough in controlling the symptoms. Using electrodes placed in the brains of macaque monkeys, scientists found an area of the brain (the subthalamic nucleus) which, when continuously stimulated, blocks the nerve signals which cause the tremor, alleviating this and other Parkinson’s symptoms.