VIDEO: Directional deep brain stimulation: novel treatment options for all Parkinson’s patients
sponsored by Boston Scientific
Author: SPONSOREDPublished: 4 October 2017
Prep: Cook: Serves:
Watch deep brain stimulation (DBS) experts Professor Pollo, Professor Timmermann, Professor Visser-Vanderwalle and Professor Volkmann explain the benefits of novel directional DBS systems for improved symptom control and fewer side effects
Every human brain is unique and every course of Parkinson’s disease has its own characteristics. In deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy, physicians aim to target a very specific part of the brain – the subthalamic nucleus – in order to mitigate Parkinson’s symptoms.
Up until now, conventional DBS systems only allowed for stimulation with ring electrodes. With these electrodes, stimulation took the form of a ring around the electrode in the lead that was implanted into the patient’s brain. This meant that while physicians tried to target a very specific area of the brain, they always ran the risk of stimulating its neighbouring regions – since they could not steer the stimulation precisely. Unintended and unwanted stimulation could cause side effects such as speech problems.
The latest generation of DBS devices allow physicians to precisely steer the stimulation to target one specific area of the brain – significantly reducing side effects from unwanted stimulation. Our directional DBS systems use novel lead designs with segmented electrodes that allow the activation of individual electrode contacts. In addition, the technology in the pulse generator that powers the leads – the Multiple Independent Current Control (MICC) technology – allows the physician to specify exactly the amount of current needed for every contact of the electrode.
Through activating specific electrode contacts, and defining the amount of stimulation for each contact, stimulation precision is significantly increased. It is similar to shining a light on a specific spot with a flashlight. With the new systems, physicians now have full control of the stimulation steering and an increased set of stimulation options.
About deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy
DBS uses a stimulator that is implanted into the patient’s chest. The stimulator sends mild electrical impulses to specific areas of the brain via thin wires called leads. This stimulation may help improve day-to-day experiences for people living with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, or essential tremor.
For comprehensive information on deep brain stimulation and Parkinson’s, please visit the EPDA website.
This article is sponsored by Boston Scientific. The information in this article is given for information purposes only and does not represent an endorsement by the EPDA of any particular treatments, products or companies. This article is not a substitute for advice from your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Parkinson’s Life makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness or accuracy of information provided.
100 for Parkinson’s: patients suffer lower moods, higher stress levels and poorer sleep quality
Latest findings from 100 for Parkinson’s study released
5 days ago
Musical therapy study to receive $20 million in funding
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is donating US $20 million to a medical trial researching the effects of musical therapy on brain conditions, including Parkinson’s. The trial will be carried out by the Sound Health initiative, a joint partnership between the NIH and The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The initiative was created to expand current knowledge of how listening, performing and creating music could be harnessed for health and wellness. Francis S. Collins, director of the NIH, said: “We know that the beat of a metronome can steady the gait of someone with Parkinson’s disease, for example, but we don’t fully understand how that happens. “If we can pinpoint in the brain how music therapy works through the use of imaging and biomarkers, the hope is that we can improve its effectiveness and apply it more broadly to improve the lives of millions of people.”
Researchers develop automated system to diagnose Parkinson’s
In an international study, researchers from the US, Germany and Austria have used a non-invasive MRI method to develop an automated system that can diagnose Parkinson’s. As part of the study – published in medical journal ‘The Lancet Digital Health’ – researchers worked with 1,002 patients and used an imaging method that measures how water molecules diffuse in the brain. This helped them to identify where neurodegeneration is occurring. Researchers hope this will help improve the accuracy of early Parkinson’s diagnoses – which they estimate to be around 58%. Dr David Vaillancourt, who led the study, said: “Our method may help to reduce the number of misdiagnosed cases in the future. Since these diseases require unique treatment plans and different medications, and clinical trials testing new medications require the correct diagnosis, getting it right is important for patient care.”
MJFF announces $10 million competition for Parkinson’s
The Michael J Fox Foundation has launched the ‘Ken Griffin Alpha-synuclein Imaging Competition’ – a US $10 million programme aiming to develop a game-changing tool for Parkinson’s research. As part of the competition, participating teams will compete in a scientific race to build a device that is able to identify alpha-synuclein – a protein closely associated with Parkinson’s. Although almost everyone diagnosed with Parkinson’s has clumps of alpha-synuclein in the brain, these are currently only visible when analysing tissue during autopsies. The competition is named after Ken Griffin, CEO of US investment firm Citadel who has given US $7.5 million funding to the programme. Griffin – whose father has Parkinson’s – said: “If we have the imaging capability to observe the pathology that arises from protein-misfolding in real time, and understand how drugs are impacting people in real time, that would be a major advance.”