Functional neurosurgery

Our functional neurosurgery team offer highly specialised treatment for conditions of the nervous system and movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

This includes deep brain stimulation, which uses electrodes implanted in the brain to help control and reduce tremors and stiffness. Patients who have had deep brain stimulation will remain under the care of the team for up to a year after the procedure so that their medication can be kept under review and, in some cases, reduced.

Epilepsy patients can also be referred to the specialty for treatments such as vagus nerve stimulation, where a small generator implanted in the chest sends electrical signals to the vagus nerve, which carries messages between the brain and the body. These electrical impulses help to regulateelectrical brain activity, in turn reducing the regularity, length and severity of epileptic seizures.

Patients who are experiencing severe pain from conditions such as multiple sclerosis may be referred to our functional neurosurgery team to see if they would benefit from a baclofen intrathecal pump. During this procedure, a small pump is implanted in the skin near the abdomen to store and release a prescribed dose of a drug called baclofen, which is used to treat spasticity, into the cavity around the spinal cord. The amount and frequency of each dose is controlled using an external programmer.

Patients who have this treatment will need to come to an outpatient clinic at Addenbrooke’s every three months so that their dose can be reviewed and pump can be refilled using an injection.

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