Benjamin Walter, MD: The Impact of Deep Brain Stimulation on Treatment


The medical director of the Deep Brain Stimulation Program at Cleveland Clinic shared his perspective on deep brain stimulation and its impact on the treatment landscape.

“It’s always been extremely rewarding to work with patients with deep brain stimulation because the moment we turn it on we often see so many different changes—sometimes very quickly, other times with progressive improvement.”

Deep brain stimulation (DBS), while notably effective in treating patients in the movement disorders field, is still relatively new to the treatment paradigm. Currently, 3 companies have developed DBS devices that are being used in the United States.

To find out exactly what that impact has been, NeurologyLive sat down with Benjamin Walter, MD, medical director, Deep Brain Stimulation Program, Cleveland Clinic. As a movement disorder specialist who works with DBS himself, Walter shared his perspective on how it has altered the ability to address some of these patient populations—Parkinson disease, essential tremor, etc—and what’s being done to revolutionize this revolutionary approach to treatment.

He also shared some insight into the eligibility for DBS, and what work is being done in the space to broaden the pool of patients who can utilize the treatment—as well as to raise awareness for it as a treatment. Walter shared that the biggest challenge in the space is not patients being ineligible, but patients not knowing they were eligible to begin with.

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