In October 2006, Benjamin Gelber MD visited the Cleveland Clinic to observe deep brain stimulation techniques for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. Dr. Gelber’s team offers several surgical approaches to the treatment of Parkinsonian tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia.

Neurological and Spinal Surgery LLC is building on a long tradition of surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease in Lincoln. The late Dr. Louis Gogela was a fellow at the Mayo Clinic with Dr. Irving Cooper, who developed stereotactic thalamotomy for Parkinson’s disease in the 1950’s. In cooperation with Dr. Cooper and the help of Robert Connelly RT, Dr. Gogela performed over 60 thalamotomies using a cryoprobe and a Rand-Wells stereotactic device in the 1960’s at Lincoln General, now BryanLGH West. When Dr. Gelber and Dr. Eric Pierson joined Dr. Gogela, they were encouraged to continue providing this service for patients, but the success of medical management of Parkinson’s disease left only a few patients who were candidates for surgical thalamotomy. Therefore, only a small number of cases were done initially.

In recent years, the demand for surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease has increased due to the aging of the population, the increasing longevity of Parkinson’s sufferers and the development of modern techniques.

Stereotactic thalamotomy can now be performed in a non-invasive manner using the gamma knife, which is a focused radiation device. The gamma knife can be used to perform either thalamotomy or pallidotomy, which are effective in the treatment of tremor.

Deep brain stimulation, which uses electrodes stereotactically placed into the subthalamic nucleus, attached to a stimulator implanted under the skin similar to a cardiac pacemaker, can be used to control tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia (slowness of movement).

Visit for a Consultation

Dr. Gelber is encouraging Parkinson’s sufferers who are not well controlled on their drugs to visit with him for consultation to see if they can be helped by one of these modern techniques.