Deep Brain
Stimulation Program

Welcome to the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Program

Emory Healthcare has one of the oldest and largest centers in the U.S., providing deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery to treat movement disorders like Parkinson's disease, tremors and dystonia and may be covered by insurance.  The Deep Brain Stimulation Program is associated with the Movement Disorders Program, which is part of the larger Brain Health Center. Use the links below to learn more. 

More than 1,000 patients have been implanted with DBS at Emory Healthcare.

DBS Implant


DBS is best described as a pacemaker for the brain. It is a surgical therapy that involves permanently implanting thin stimulation electrodes (wires) into deep regions of the brain that control motor function. An adjustable pulse generator implanted in the chest sends electrical pulses through the electrodes, which regularizes abnormal brain activity and improves motor symptoms.


DBS consists of electrodes (wires) implanted in brain motor centers & a pulse generator (pacemaker) in the chest.

Movement Disorders Treatments Pioneers

Dr. Mahlon DeLong The Deep Brain Stimulation Program was established in the early 1990s by Dr. Mahlon DeLong.

Together with neurologist Dr. Jerry Vitek and neurosurgeon Dr. Roy Bakay, Dr. DeLong and his research team made groundbreaking discoveries in the functional organization of motor circuits.  This contributed to developing surgical approaches for treating movement disorders and identified a novel target for treating Parkinson's disease. Dr. Mahlon DeLong The DBS clinical team comprises neurologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, neurosurgeons, a neurophysiologist, neuropsychologists, psychiatry nurse practitioners, and a coordinator.

Dr. Mahlon DeLong

"With something as complex as DBS, it’s nice to know what you are heading into so you can plan what to expect accordingly." —Mike O’Donnell, Emory DBS Patient

In special cases, we also offer radiofrequency (RF) ablations and gamma knife surgeries. We perform both 'awake' and 'asleep' surgeries for lead implantations and utilize devices from all three FDA-approved manufactures. The specific approach is customized to each patient to achieve the best clinical benefit and account for individual preferences.

DBS Therapy Process

Use the link below to learn about our in-depth DBS therapy process, from evaluation or screening to surgery and follow-up care.

DBS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

View our frequently asked questions on DBS Therapy and DBS Therapy for treating Parkinson's disease (PD), essential tremor, and dystonia.