Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a type of brain surgery whereby the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. DBS in select brain regions has provided therapeutic benefits for otherwise-treatment-resistant movement and affective disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and chronic pain.
Because DBS can aggravate memory loss, neuropsychological assessment is often required as part of pre surgical clearance to make sure that the patient is not suffering from a dementia, which can be made worse with BDS surgery.
During DBS pre-surgical protocol, the patient will undergo a one hour interview to make sure he/she understands what the DBS surgery entails, including risks and benefits (click here for a comprehensive overview of what DBS entails). After the interview the patient will undergo neuropsychological testing to determine cognitive status. The report is immediately sent to referring physician (usually neurologist) and neurosurgeon.