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New Hope for Patients With Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a condition that strikes indiscriminately and affects 1 million Americans, according to the National Parkinson Foundation. Thanks to treatment known as deep brain stimulation (DBS) — available at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas — patients like Jackie Brown have a new lease on life.

Brown, wife of former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Guy Brown, dreaded going to bed at night. As the medications used to treat her Parkinson’s disease wore off, dyskinesia would set in. Dyskinesia, a severe inability to control muscle movements, caused her to thrash
so wildly that her husband had to hold her down.

After 15 years of coping with Parkinson’s, Brown came to Texas Health Dallas. A team of neurology specialists performed DBS — a procedure in which tiny electrodes are implanted to stimulate specific regions of the brain and help manage movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. DBS was the answer for Brown and many like her. She now spends her days shopping, traveling and enjoying time with her five grandchildren.

“DBS is a great option for patients coping with Parkinson’s,” says Malcolm Stewart, M.D., neurologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas. “This procedure offers an opportunity to help give people back their dignity, control and hope.”

The Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation hosts the Greer Garson Gala to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease research and programs at Texas Health Dallas. This year, the Foundation hopes to raise more funds at the October event.

“Parkinson’s can affect anyone at any time,” says Jay McAuley, president of the Foundation. “Therefore, we must focus on providing the resources necessary to research treatments for this debilitating disease.”

To find a physician and learn more about deep brain stimulation and whether it might help you, call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).

(Fall/Winter 2009)

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