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sandybette

dbs overstimulation and is explosion possible

8 posts in this topic

If a stimulator is turned up as high as it will go, will it or the leads explode - or what will happen if it is at maximum power for too long?

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 You cannot turn up your stimulator as you wish. Your are allowed to so only within a certain range defined by the doctor or whoever is in charge of finetuning the stimulator's settings.  In France, this task is the responsibility of a neurologist specially trained for that purpose. I understand this is slightly different in the States but in any case you will never be able to turn up stimulation further than what has been allowed.  Hope that  will allay your fears.

Mireille

 

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Thanks, Mireille - I understand that the patient doesn't control it, but what happens if it is already almost at full power to have any effect?  Does it burn itself out?  Do the leads melt?  My friend (for whom I'm writing as she can no longer do so - though I, too, have PD) has had PD for 35+ yrs., and had her DBS many, many years ago, and her doctor has told her that it should not  be turned up any more because she is at the maximum now, but she needs more help from it as her quality of life is quite poor now.  She wonders what happens if she can persuade the doctor to boost it just a bit more.

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The leads will not melt, nothing should explode. If the doctor says it is at the maximum then it is at the highest level it has been designed for and any settings higher are not possible. They do not want to do any harm. There are limits to what DBS can do for someone and sorry to say, she might be there as far as DBS goes. If it is set too high it can cause many problems. Hope this helps and your friend feels better. Sorry for her situation.,

 

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I think you should see an expert programmer like Sierra Farris in Colorado or Pam at UF Florida DBS clinic. Doctors aren't the best programmers when it comes to dbs. There are other variables that can make a world of difference including selcting right electrode , changing frequency and pulse width, bi polar settings etc etc in addition to cranking up voltage which may end up causing side effects and high drain on battery 

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A friend of mine had DBS done 22 years ago. She had new battery, but just wasn't as effective in keeping her from freezing.

New CT scan showed how far the leads had moved from original locatin. So DBS Surger number 2 with new lead placement. It worked great for her. Out of a wheel chair, and moving along with a walker.   

Best is to be seen by a Movement Disorder Specialist.

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The DBS runs on a really low voltage and current.  Like others have said,  a lot of safety features are in place.   Besides, if you somehow bypassed all that and forced it to go into some "overdrive", you would be shocking yourself; which I assume would incapacitate you.   However, this is pretty much impossible to force this to happen.  I am just going off my electrical engineering knowledge and what I know from FDA approvals.  I am not  a specialist.  You could contact the company that makes the DBS to get an official answer. 

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Thanks to all who responded - we deeply appreciate your advice/concern/suggestions.  My friend did go back and have the voltage turned up and is experiencing better quality of life.  Thanks!

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