top of page

No Great Shakes (At Last): Brain Implant Helps Essential Tremor And Parkinson’s Disease Patients Regain Control

May 17, 2024

Most of what Bob Carlton saw of Vietnam during his two wartime tours of duty was seen from the cockpit of an A-1 Skydiver, which means he played a significant role in saving the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers and civilians. Bob ran 162 missions across the five years he served as a naval aviator. He also ran a couple of missions that didn’t go quite as planned. Both resulted in crashes that Bob says he’s fortunate to have lived through.

“One of the crashes occurred when the catapult on the aircraft carrier failed,” Bob remembers. “That plane went straight into the water. Never even got airborne. The second was the result of an engine fire, so I’m quite lucky to be here.”

Luck indeed, but a couple of years ago, Bob began to feel like his luck was running out. A battle with essential tremor, a nervous system disorder that mostly causes involuntary twitching in the hands, was the reason. “For me, the problem started about 30 years ago,” says Bob, now over 70. It started with occasional little shakes in my left hand. Over time it got worse, a lot worse. It moved into both hands and got so bad it was hard to do almost anything.

Just about anything you do with your hands, I couldn’t do. I couldn’t hold a fork or spoon or control a toothbrush, so eating and brushing my teeth were very difficult. The problem also made it very difficult to do one of my favorite hobbies, woodworking. Eventually, Bob grew tired of adapting. The shaking in his hands became so bad that after years of trying to control the problem through medication, he finally accepted his neurologist’s advice to try an advanced treatment option for the disorder.

Life-Changing Procedure
That treatment is called deep brain stimulation, or DBS. It is an FDA approved procedure in which the patient is implanted with a small pacemaker sized device that delivers electrical impulses to the specified areas of the brain. Studies show that within a year of being implanted with a DBS Device, Parkinson’s Disease and essential tremor patients experience a 90 percent improvement in motor function and a 30 percent decrease in medications.

Bob underwent the approximately 2-hour DBS Procedure in September 2021. When he was released the next day, he felt “like a new man.” “It’s unbelievable. In three hours, a problem I’ve had for 30 years was fixed.” The impact of DBS has made on Bob’s life is so great that he gladly shares his experience with DBS Surgery to those considering the procedure.

“People want to know, what’s the surgery like and does it really work?” Bob relates. “Well, I’ve been through it, so I’m there to tell them what it’s like and that it doesn’t just work, it changes your life. It is truly a life changing surgery.”

Learn More
Dr. Keebaugh, who holds a Doctoral Degree in Neuroscience from Emory University School of Medicine, has had a front row seat to some of the latest developments in the field of Neuroscience. While doing research at Emory, she observed a deep-brain stimulation procedure that determined the course of her professional life thereafter. “It was one of those moments in your life where you get chills on the back of your neck,” she said. “It was like: This is what I was meant to do.” Alaine has a family that is impacted by these disorders and it is her life’s passion to share what she knows to help people find a better quality of life.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease or essential tremor, but deep-brain stimulation can significantly improve the quality of life for those suffering.

To learn more about the procedure, please join Dr. Keebaugh for one of the FREE in-person seminars listed below and/or visit them online at: Friends and family are welcome and a modest meal will be provided.

Register For A FREE Seminar Near You:
Wednesday, May 29th - 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Arcola Lakes Branch Library
Registration at:

Thursday, May 30th - 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Hialeah Gardens Branch Library
Registration at:

Thursday, May 30th - 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Northeast/Aventura Branch Library
Registration at:

Thursday, June 13th - 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Davie/Cooper City Branch Library
Registration at:

Friday, June 14th - 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Weston Branch Library
Registration at:

For more information or help registering, call: (770) 356-6410.

bottom of page