VIDEO: Directional deep brain stimulation: novel treatment options for all Parkinson’s patients


sponsored by Boston Scientific

Author: SPONSOREDPublished: 4 October 2017

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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.

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