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Dr. Okun

DBS Bleed

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My mom (74 yrs old, PD for 16 years) had DBS on 1/31. When she didn't

awaken, they did a CT and it showed a thalamic bleed. Very small. She

didn't wake for 5.5 days. She was awake for almost 2 1/2 weeks but has had

to go in rehab because she is so weak she can't bear weight, speak right,

memory is messed up and she is confused and her words make no sense. 3

nights ago she was found non responsive and rushed from the rehab to the

hospital with a massive blood clot in her lung. Currently she is in ICU

and on her 3rd full day of a Heparin IV, but being closely monitored for

any bleeding resumption in the brain. So far, so good.

She is so confused and her memory is so strange.

What have been the recovery results with a patient at this age after a

bleed at this location? Her neuro is still hopeful that she will benefit

from the stimulator by my dad and I are devestated at the loss of

abilities-both physical and mental. I search and search on the web for

info about when the 1-2% complications actually DO occur but all I find on

DBS is all the success stories. Any thoughts you can give would be




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I always tell my patients that Mark Twain said there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Even though hemorrhage rates may be below 5%, if you get one you get 100% of this side effect.


If it is small it may resorb without sequalae, but it is very dependent on location and the structures it affects. It can sometimes even help outcome.


You are still early, so I would stay with rehab and not give up. It could take 6 months or more to see what happens but this may end much better than you think and in fact the DBS may be more helpful than you think now.


Hang in there.

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