Patients Of Deep Brain Stimulation Celebrate Their Life

For those living with Parkinsons Disease, doing normal day to day activities like watering your flowers or doing your laundry is a constant struggle, but thanks to a procedure known as Deep Brain Stimulation many suffering from the disease are now able to live a more normal life. June Landrum says she has a beautiful flower garden.

"I love to work outside and I can be outside by myself," said June Landrum DBS Patient. She says it's her first flower bed in years. That's because for the past 13 years Landrum has suffered from Parkinsons Disease.

"I had full time care," said Landrum. "I shook. My upper body has always been stronger than my lower body, so I was in a wheelchair." Landrum doesn't need that wheelchair anymore. She can walk and talk just fine thanks to a procedure known as Deep Brain Stimulation. ETMC started offering Deep Brain Stimulation to patients three years ago. It's like a pace maker for the heart, but instead of the heart the brain is what needs the stimulation or electric shock. As a result, many patients have better control over their body movements.

"All of the prior techniques of treating this disorder had involved damaging tissue instead of just stimulating tissue and so what we did by having this de-brain stimulator it changed everything," said Dr. George Plotkin a Neurologist. "We could actually put something on the brain and if we didn't like the result turn it off."

Today patients like Landrum got a chance to celebrate their new life with others at ETMC who have had similar experiences.

"I love to talk to people," said Landrum. "I like to hear their stories and I like to talk them about what happened to me."

Today ETMC has done more than 50 successful procedures in Tyler, and then say so far they have not had any complications with the procedure.

Molly Reuter, reporting.