Epilepsy is a condition of repeated seizures. More than 2.5 million Americans of all ages have epilepsy. One of the most common disorders involving the brain, epilepsy and its symptoms affect people of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds.
Essential tremor is a neurological disorder characterized by shaking of hands (and sometimes other parts of the body including the head), evoked by intentional movements. The exact incidence is unknown, but it is presumed to be the most common type of tremor and also the most commonly observed movement disorder.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms—most commonly the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and walking problems. The procedure is also used to treat essential tremor, a common neurological movement disorder. At present, the procedure is used only for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications.
Dystonia is a rare neurological movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. The cause(s) of dystonia are not yet known or understood. Primary dystonia is suspected to be caused by a pathology of the central nervous system, likely originating in those parts of the brain concerned with motor function, such as the basal ganglia, and the GABA ( gamma-aminobutyric acid) producing Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum. In most cases it involve some genetic predisposition towards the disorder combined with environmental conditions.
Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. It is characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement ( bradykinesia) and, in extreme cases, a loss of physical movement ( akinesia). The primary symptoms are the results of decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia, normally caused by the insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain. Secondary symptoms may include high level cognitive dysfunction and subtle language problems. PD is both chronic and progressive.
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a type of treatment in which short bursts of electrical energy are directed into the brain via the vagus nerve, a large nerve in the neck. The energy comes from a battery, about the size of a silver dollar, which is surgically implanted under the skin, usually on the chest. Leads are threaded under the skin and attached to the vagus nerve in the same procedure. The physician programs the device to deliver small electrical stimulation bursts every few minutes. This is a relatively new type of treatment. It may be tried when other treatment is not effective. Just how it works to prevent seizures is being studied.