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 Parkinson’s Europe 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 Parkinson’s Europe 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.
Trekkers with Parkinson’s raise $120,000 for stem cell study
20 hours ago
Could Parkinson’s disease originate in the gut?
A new body of research has highlighted a potential link between gut health and Parkinson’s, with several studies presented at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting in San Diego, US. One study focused on alpha-synuclein – a protein that can cause brain cells to die and contribute to the condition’s onset. As part of the study, the researchers created a mouse model of Parkinson’s by treating the mice with rotenone (an ingredient used in pesticides). This was found to increase clumps of alpha-synuclein in the gut, suggesting the protein may originate in the digestive system before moving to the brain. Commenting on the research presented at the event in a press release, assistant professor of neurosurgery Sonia Villapol said: “When it comes to neurological disorders, we cannot target only the brain. Everything that happens in the gut has an impact on the brain.”
Is dry eye disease common in people with Parkinson’s?
Dry eye disease can involve symptoms such as a lower blinking rate and typically occurs when the eyes are not effectively moistened by tears – leading to discomfort and possible vision loss. Now, a recent study from Japan has investigated the previously underexplored relationship between dry eye disease and Parkinson’s. As part of their research, the team analysed 13 studies published between 2004 and 2022, which involved more than 1,500 people with Parkinson’s. Five of the reports highlighted the prevalence of dry eye disease in people with the condition – with 61% experiencing symptoms. “Our findings emphasize the need for clinicians to be vigilant of the presence of dry eye disease when managing [people with Parkinson’s],” the researchers wrote. However, they noted that more research is needed – especially “future large-scale studies” – to help understand the relationship between dry eye disease and the condition.
Highlighting dental care needs among people with Parkinson’s disease
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have published a new study looking into dental care among people with Parkinson’s. Using a national register to obtain data relating to dental care between 2015 and 2019, the team identified 6,874 people with Parkinson’s, whose data was then compared to a control group of 34,285 people without the condition. A key takeaway from the five-year study was that a larger portion of people with Parkinson’s were not regular users of the dental care system – 21%, compared to 16.9% in the control group. The findings published in the journal ‘Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology’ also revealed that people with Parkinson’s utilised more dental-related treatment services than those in the control group – such as fillings and extractions. The researchers concluded: “This knowledge can be used by clinicians and decision-makers to ensure the optimal dental care for persons with Parkinson’s.”