New medical procedure helping Valley Parkinson's patients

A new and improved deep brain simulation (or DBS) procedure is being performed in the Valley to help Parkinson's patients.

Sixty-one-year-old Kevin Deister's quality of life was slowly getting worse. He's suffered from Parkinson's for 18 years.

"I haven't slept normally in the last 10 years," Deister said of his symptoms. "I'd wake up and I couldn't move."

He was taking 30 pills a day. Medication was the only thing to help him not feel paralyzed.

About six weeks ago, he took a chance on a new procedure; it's called Infinity DBS system. Scottsdale-based specialist Dr. Virgilio Evidente is one of two doctors in the Valley using it.

Dr. Evidente drilled two holes in Deister's skull and implanted wires. He then connected those wires to a pacemaker-like device in Deister's chest.

The system essentially blocks Parkinson's symptoms by transmitting electricity to the brain and telling the body how to move.

"That translates to no side effects, no cost of medications, and a better quality of life," Dr. Evidente explained. "He's no longer dependent on the medicines that he has to take every three hours."

Deister is happy with his progress.

"I can work on the computer and not want to throw the mouse against the wall because I can't move it," he said.

And all those pills he relied on? He's now taking only three a day.

"No medicine means I can sleep now and when I wake up I can move," Deister said. "I sleep TOO good now!"
 

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