What Is DBS Neurophysiological Mapping?

DBS mapping is used to identify the best location to place a Deep Brain Stimulator for the treatment of a number of conditions, including Parkinsons disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. This procedure is done while you are awake, and involves listening to the activity of your brain cells, and providing test stimulation prior to the placement of your permanent DBS lead. By doing so, your surgeon is able to determine the boundaries of the brain area targeted for your condition, and find the spot that is most effective at reducing your symptoms, while limiting side effects.

What Do We Do?

Our DBS neurophysiologist will be in the Operating Room participating in your surgery. During the surgery, our staff will work with your physician to identify the brain areas of interest, and evaluate how well your symptoms respond to stimulation. Our staff will also help your doctor identify potential side effects from stimulation, and help minimize their occurrence.

What Is Different About Our Neurophysiologists?

Sentient’s DBS service is unique in our industry, because it is staffed with PhD level neurophysiologists that only perform the DBS mapping procedure, and we cover more DBS surgeries than any other company. In addition, all of our staff hold academic positions at top tier universities and research facilities, and are actively involved in research. As a result you can be confident that our staff are providing the best guidance available to your surgeon.

Sentient’s DBS program

Sentient’s dedicated DBS Service and training program was founded in 2001, and we currently have 7 PhD academicians that only perform DBS neurophysiology. This focused approach has allowed Sentient to become the largest provider of DBS neurophysiology in the country, and we currently provide our DBS service at more than 60 hospitals.

Sentient’s DBS Staff

The success of DBS therapy depends upon accurate placement of the DBS lead, which allows maximal treatment efficacy and battery life, with minimal stimulation-induced side effects. To ensure the degree of accuracy needed to achieve optimal results, we only use PhD neurophysiologists with extensive experience in microelectrode and stimulation mapping techniques. Our staff receive hands-on training at one of the busiest DBS centers in the country (Vanderbilt University), and gain additional experience in stereotactic, neurophysiology and surgical planning systems at a variety of top tier DBS hospitals. As a result, our neurophysiologists are able to provide expert technical interpretation of microelectrode and stimulation mapping results, and will work with you to provide a highly customized and efficient mapping protocol that does not add significant time to the surgery.

What Types of Services Do We Provide?

Our DBS staff can provide the following services during the DBS implant surgery:

  • Assist with surgical planning
  • Set-up, operate, and troubleshoot neurophysiology system
  • Operate microdrives that advance microelectrodes so that the surgeon does not need to scrub out
  • Identify the location of neurons responsive to kinesthetic, tactile, or visual stimulation
  • Assist in the identification of stimulation-induced treatment efficacy and side effects
  • Provide summary (technical interpretation) of MER and stimulation results, and assist in the identification of the optimal location to implant the DBS lead
  • Upon request, consult on technical issues related to the DBS procedure
  • Provide didactic support for OR staff, residents, and visitors regarding the theory and practice of DBS