Deep Brain Stimulation Stories

The best people to tell you about deep brain stimulation (DBS) are those who have been through the DBS surgery and are living with the device.  Even though every individual's DBS story is unique to them, and your DBS story will be unique to you, these stories may help you to decide if DBS is right for you.


Online Articles | Online Videos


Online Articles

DBS Expectation

By Darcy Blake.  Published by ParkinsonsWomen.com, June 12, 2017

This blog post is a first person account of Darcy Blake’s experience during the ‘breaking in’ period and programming after DBS.  Eleven weeks after her second DBS surgery she discusses the challenge of expecting too much from the procedure, as did Dr. Michael Okun at the 2016 World Parkinson Congress in Portland, OR.


My DBS Story

By Bev Ribaudo.  Published by My DBS Story Blog

This blog details the DBS journey of Bev Ribaudo, aka YumaBev, author of the Parkinson’s Humor blog, who had DBS surgery in October of 2012 to help relieve the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.  She begins with a list of things you should consider before having DBS.  She then explains with some humor the DBS surgical and programming process, followed by her personal DBS story.


Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Helps Parkinson’s Patient Get Her Life Back to Normal

By Tony Craine.  Published by the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Fall 2016

This story of the journey to and through DBS surgery by Linda Stambaugh, or Browning, IL, describes her physical decline, her fear of the DBS procedure, a chance encounter that made her decide to go through with DBS, and volunteering at the medical school to demonstrate symptoms with and without DBS.


Jasmine’s Journey

Published by Jasmine Sturr on YouTube

This series of 28 videos (and growing) include her DBS experience, educational talks, interviews with Rock Steady Boxing instructors, and personal experiences, gastroparesis, feeding tubes, speech therapy, etc.


My Experience of Deep Brain Stimulation

Published by ABC.net Australia, December 11, 2014

This is a rather long account of a man diagnosed in 1996 at 43-years-old who was forced into early retirement as his symptoms worsened.  In 2010 he underwent DBS and recalls the decision-making process and his memories of the operation, itself.


Unique Aspects of the Diagnosis & Treatment of YOPD: A Patient’s Perspective

By Steven Mike.  Published by the American Parkinson Disease Association

This speech given by Steven Milke on February 13, 2010, describes his diagnosis in 2002 after two years of seeking a diagnosis, his development of dyskinesia and tremors that led him to consider having DBS surgery in 2007 and finally following through with it in 2009, the process, and his result.

Online Videos

Brain Surgery Live with Mental Floss

By the National Geographic Channel

This 90-minute video captures an awake deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery on Greg Grindley, a veteran with Parkinson’s disease.  Blending live coverage from the operating room at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Ohio, with segments that chronicle what science and medicine have historically taught us about the brain, along with what is yet to be discovered.
View a video clip here.
Purchase the full program here for $19.99.


Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease

By Attitude Live, July 26, 2016

In just 27-minutes we follow Andy McDowell, a 48-year-old marketing consultant, husband and father to two young girls with early onset Parkinson’s disease, in the lead-up to his first Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery.  When switched on, wires deeply embedded in his brain help him regain some control of his body.


Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery to treat Parkinson’s Disease at Mount Sinai Hospital

By Mount Sinai Health System, April 18, 2013

This 19-minute video shows DBS surgery on Michael Toscano, a retired New York City police officer who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1997 at 34-years-old.  His first DBS electrodes were removed for medical reasons, although it was very effective, so this is his second DBS surgery.


Living With Parkinson’s: Sandra Ransel’s Story of DBS

By Vegas PBS Documentaries, January 8, 2015

In this 26-minute video, we meet Dr. Sandra Ransel, a Las Vegas high school principal diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over 20 years ago, and follow her as she undergoes DBS to help her manage her condition. 


Deep Brain Stimulation and Parkinson's Disease

By the Veteran's Administration

This 10-minute video alternates between an interview with a young man who elected to have deep brain stimulation (DBS) and his wife, with doctors explaining how a DBS unit is implanted, the benefits of DBS, possible complications of DBS surgery and the programming process. 


Last updated August 2020 by Stanford's Parkinson's Community Outreach.