Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) may sail through six to 10 years of medical management before the unpredictable tremors and rigidity start to impair their quality of life. At that point, many patients with PD are good candidates for deep brain stimulation, a neurosurgical approach that is successful in managing the symptoms of advanced PD in combination with medical therapies.
The teamwork of a neurosurgeon from the LSU department of neurosurgery and Charles Fiore, M.D., a neurologist at Culicchia Neurological Clinic can help people with PD decide when deep brain stimulation makes sense for them – and if it does, the duo work together with the patient to control PD symptoms after the surgery.
“Deep brain stimulation is a procedure where we can implant small electrode wires within areas of the brain to control movement disorder problems,” explains neurosurgeon Erich Richter, M.D., Associate Director of the Epilepsy Center of Excellence at LSU .
Dr. Richter and Charles Fiore, M.D., are a formidable force against the ravages of PD. Dr. Richter, a neurosurgeon, specializes in implanting the equipment for deep brain stimulation, while neurologist Dr. Fiore oversees the medical management of the disease.
“Together, Drs. Richter and Fiore manage complex cases involving movement disorders including placement of deep brain
stimulators. Dr. Richter is fellowship trained in the placement of deep brain stimulators and by working closely with Dr. Fiore,
they can offer cutting-edge care for Parkinson’s, epilepsy and other conditions,” says Frank Culicchia, M.D., Medical Director
of Culicchia Neurological Clinic and Chairman of Neurosurgery at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.
“The time to think about putting the stimulator in is when patients are ceasing to have satisfactory improvement of their
symptoms with medication alone, or even earlier when they want to discuss the possibility of having one put in further
down the line,” explains Dr. Fiore.