DBS and Falls

First Post here. My wife was diagnosed in 2006 and had DBS in 1/2015. Shortly thereafter she began experiencing falling where she had not had the problem before the DBS. I am becoming increasingly convinced the falls (several per day) are somehow directly related to the DBS or the placement of the electrodes or the voltage but to date we have not been successful in tracing the cause.

Has anyone else been plagued by unexplained fall frequency after having the DBS surgery? Ours began a few months after the "honeymoon effect" was over.......

Thank you for your responses. We are about at our wits end.......

10 Replies

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  • Not personally but i have heard that is true. For some people they fall more and some have speech problems. I would agree with you

    Look here! dbsprogramming.com/2013/08/...

  • Thank you for this link...............

  • It's not impossible that there is a relationship. Do you know where the electrodes are placed? There are 2 locations. One is the STN, subthalamic nucleus. The other is the globes pallidus internus GPI.

    The other issue is how well it's programmed. Has the programmer attempted to address your concerns? Sometimes the intensity and frequency as well as the various sites can be adjusted for better success.

    If you are not getting any results from your programmer, I'd seek someone else.

  • Hers are located in the STN

    Programming has been an issue, but we have tried many options, from the initial placement team, to our current Dr.s attempting to piece together the timeline and strip away all of the "clutter" They even checked her in the the hospital for three days and turned the system off and reprogrammed in hopes of finding a solution all to no avail, so far.......

  • Does she have bilateral or unilateral electrode placement? Does she have bilateral extremity symptoms? It might be possible to turn one of the circuits way down and see if that doesn't help.

  • that's interesting. She has two leads. With all of the different approaches we have taken, I don't recall turning one lead way down...........Perhaps that is something to talk to the Dr. about next visit.......

  • I have a DBS and my balance much worse than it was prior to having it.

    When shevturns it off does shevhave dyskenisia? They have found the dbs can make the dyskenisia look like it is better but you end with more balance issues and falling.

  • Not really. When they turned the system off she didn't have any involuntary movements at all. Hers are really a side effect of over-medication; not the DBS system. She really doesn't have dyskinesia except when she takes too much L-Dopa

    So what did you do? How did you end up coping?

  • Unfortunately we must remember the PD progresses in spite of treatment so falling could just be a next stage.

  • That has been discussed with several of her Dr.s. They all agree that she is too young to have this issue, even with the progression........

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