Duke Neurosurgery's Functional Division brings together experts who focus on movement disorders, pain, and epilepsy. Duke neurosurgeons improve quality of life of patients with these disorders by using a variety of therapies, including deep brain stimulation (DBS) and neuromodulation, which provides a technologically advanced approach to the treatment of pain, movement disorders, and other challenging neurological disorders.
Approaches offered by the Neuromodulation program, led by Nandan Lad, MD, PhD, include microvascular decompression, dorsal root entry zone (DREZ), deep brain stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, intrathecal therapies, HF10 stimulation, and DRG stimulation.
Duke is home to a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, which combines the expertise of epileptologists and neurosurgeons. In 2019, Duke neurosurgeon Derek Southwell, MD, PhD, became the first in North Carolina to perform deep brain stimulation to treat epilepsy. Southwell is also a pioneer in the use of asleep DBS to treat movement disorders. Southwell brought deep brain stimulation for epilepsy to North Carolina, a therapy that can reduce seizure frequency by an average 70-75%. At the bench he explores the potential of interneuron transplantation.