Deep Brain Stimulator

Flavius Raslau, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, is working with Neurosurgeon, Dr. Craig van Horne and researchers in the department of Neuroscience to develop improved imaging methods to identify the site for the implantation of a Deep Brain Stimulator (DBS). These devices are instrumental in improving the condition of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Control of these patient’s symptoms of tremor, bradykinesia and rigidity can be achieved by a precise placement of the electrode in the globus pallidus interna. Drs. Hardy and Raslau have developed an improved, high resolution MR imaging technique which better visualizes these small structures, allowing the neurogeons to perform a more precise placement. Whereas the field of DBS has traditionally targeted various nuclei, a new wave of research is now turning attention to the interconnecting tracts. Through the acquisition of diffusion tensor imaging, we are now tracking fibers running between and adjacent to the preferred sites of DBS placement in order to enhance our understanding of the optimal target site for each patient.