Programs

Parkinson’s Disease Treatment in Israel

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive central nervous system disorder that primarily affects the motor system. Its symptoms are caused by the progressive deterioration of neurons in the substantia nigra, which damages their ability to produce dopamine – a substance that is necessary for correct muscle movement. First described almost 200 years ago, the disease affects over 1 million people in the US and approximately 125 thousand people in the UK. Over 60 thousand new cases are diagnosed each year in the US alone.

Parkinson’s is more common in men than women and its prevalence increases with age. In vast majority of cases, first symptoms (“Parkinsonism”) appear after the age of 50 and develop gradually. These include tremors, stiffness, as well as gait and speech disorders. Cognitive impairment and mental symptoms (for example, dementia, anxiety and/or depression) may also appear in advanced stages. All these greatly impact the patient’s quality of life.

Operative Parkinson’s Disease Treatment in Israel

While medications can help alleviate the aforementioned symptoms to some extent, they often cause side effects of varying severity. This is why our Parkinson’s disease treatment in Israel program offers an operative option – deep brain simulation (DBS). Israeli medical centers have almost 20 years of experience in performing this procedure, and recent advances in computer technology have greatly increased both its safety and efficacy.

Parkinson’s treatment in Israel takes place at Sheba Hospital. The cost of the program is comprised of:

  • Operative procedure and 3 days of hospitalization
  • Disposable surgical materials and simulator
  • Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring
Indications for DBS:
  • Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease diagnosed no less than 5 years prior to DBS treatment
  • Patient’s age under 75
  • No grave concomitant conditions (such as cardiovascular or oncological diseases)
  • Positive reaction to DOPA class medications
  • Presence of ‘On-Off Phenomenon’
  • No frequent falls during ‘On’ stage
  • No memory loss
  • No concomitant psychiatric illnesses

Diagnosis

Pre-operative diagnostics includes the following investigations:

  • Navigational MRI scan
  • Exam by a neurologist from Sheba’s Parkinson Center
  • Psychologist’s exam
  • Neurosurgeon’s exam
  • Routine preoperative preparation including blood work, ECG, chest X-ray and an anesthesiologist consultation

You will need to remain in Israel for approximately 3 to 4 weeks following your surgery (for hospitalization and outpatient follow-up care).