Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

Neurologists and neurosurgeons have used electrical stimulation since the 1960s as a way to locate and distinguish specific sites in the brain. During the process, they discovered that stimulation of certain brain structures suppresses the symptoms of neurological disorders such as essential tremor and Parkinson's disease.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS), from Medtronic®, is a Neurosurgical method approved since 1997 for essential tremor and utilized in over 55,000 patients worldwide for tremor, Parkinson's disease, primary dystonia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. DBS safely and effectively manages some of the most disabling motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. Medtronic® DBS enables people suffering from some movement disorders and related symptoms to have greater control over their movements, allowing them to have more freedom to live and work. Medtronic® DBS is now approved, in special cases for dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

How does Deep Brain Stimulation work?

DBS uses a surgically implanted medical device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, to deliver carefully controlled electrical stimulation to precisely targeted areas in the brain. It works by electrically stimulating specific brain structures. For Parkinson's disease (PD), those structures are the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or globus pallidus interna (GPi). For essential tremor (ET), the structure is the ventro intermediate nucleus of the thalamus (Vim), and for dystonia, the GPi or STN is stimulated.

How does it work for OCD?

Electical leads are surgically implanted in the brain in a structure called the anterior limb of the internal capsule (AIC), sometimes referred to as the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS).*These leads are connected to one or more neurostimulators implanted near the collarbone. The neurostimulator contains a small battery and computer chip programmed to send electrical pulses to control symptoms. The stimulation may be programmed and adjusted non-invasively by the clinician to help maximize symptom control and minimize side effects.

More information

Sometimes medications alone do not adequately relieve OCD. If multiple treatments, including psychotherapy, have not adequately or continuously relieved your OCD, it may be time to discuss DBS Therapy with your psychiatrist as a long-term treatment option.

How can I make an appointment:

For more information or to make an appointment you call us at: (813) 259-0920
Or you may email us at

Where is the USF Neurotherapies located?

The USF Neurotherapies Clinic is located at

USF Health South Tampa Center
2 Tampa General Circle
Tampa, Florida 33606

For a map and directions please click on the following link: South Tampa Center