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DBS and effects on walking and balance

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JPD
DBS and effects on walking and balance

My wife had the DBS operation about 2 years ago and it has had significant benefits. However since the operation her walking and balance are not as good as they were before. She now has a tendency to fall forwards when she walks (ie her centre of gravity is too far forwards). If I were not holding her she would fall. Has anyone else experienced this? Can anything be done with varying the amount of stimulation and the balance of the other medication she takes? We are of course seeking assistance from the professionals but just wondered if anyone else had come across this problem. It may of course be down to disease progression but if anything can be done then it would be nice to know.

Tractorman

Hi JPD,

I had DBS, bi lateral STN, installed in July and switched on 6 weeks later. My experience of DBS so far in the context of balance is mixed there are times when I can put my socks on standing up unsupported and other times I seemingly get drawn into random spontaneous pockets of excessive gravity! Especially if the floor is not clear of obstacles even small ones. Oddly enough any balance issues manifest most often from when I'm simply standing seldom from when walking.

That said things were worse pre DBS especially walking when "OFF". It was as if my top half wanted to move at 3mph but my lower half could only manage 2mph. 

In terms of DBS settings I can adjust mine, as yet untried for balance or I can switch over to the number two program which my Advanced Nurse Practitioner set up with different settings specifically to improve my walking, other symptom controls set as for program  1, again not tried it out yet.

Having looked into DBS for some time before starting on the actual process I found some articles on DBS and balance. Some said DBS of the STN improves balance others said it didn't.

Please let us know what the Pro's suggest.

Not exactly sure this pile of words is any help to you or not.....

Best regards,

Tractorman.