You have options, DBS is one of them
You may consider Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in the later stages of your journey when medications alone are no longer effective in managing your symptoms. It’s safe. It’s proven. And it’s helped over 100,000 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) regain control and quality of life.1,2
What is DBS?
DBS uses a small, surgically implanted device called a “stimulator” to send signals to a targeted portion of your brain. This stimulation can improve your motor function by reducing symptoms such as tremor, slowness, and rigidity. For many patients, this therapy can be life-altering.3
Benefits of DBS
DBS has changed the lives of people with PD, easing symptoms and returning function that was once lost. The results of DBS vary from person to person depending on overall level of health, progression, and window of implementation.
Benefits of DBS include:
- Safe and effective solution to manage and reduce PD symptoms such as tremor, slowness, rigidity, uncontrolled movements, incontinence, and moodiness
- May allow for a reduction in the number of PD medications taken4
- Provide 6 hours of more “ON Time,” giving you control and independence to live your life free of rigidity, freezing or the troublesome dyskinesia sometimes caused by PD medication5
- Patients with tremor experienced an average of 70% reduction of symptoms, depending on type and location6
- Patients showed marked improvements in minor functions and sustained improvement for at least 5 years7
How it works
When people living with PD experience a disturbance in motor symptoms, it’s because low dopamine levels in the brain are causing abnormal signaling. DBS can help regulate those signals by targeting electrical stimulation. As a result, PD symptoms are often reduced.3
See how DBS works to control PD symptoms.
Your doctor will place one or two insulated wires called “leads” in the brain, which connect to a thin wire called an “extension.”
A small device called a “stimulator” is implanted under the skin in the chest, which also connects to the extension.
The stimulator sends mild electrical pulses through the extension and leads to specific regions of the brain.
Know the timing of DBS
There is an ideal “window” for DBS surgery. In general, it’s best to consider DBS when you’re still responding to levodopa, but you’re no longer able to control your motor symptoms with medication alone. This timing will differ from patient to patient, as the path and progression of Parkinson’s is personal. Talk to your doctor in the early stages of treatment, and voice your desire to explore alternatives like DBS as you move through your journey.8
“Thanks to DBS, my husband Kenny has experienced a drastic improvement in his symptoms and reduction in his medicine. That was a huge relief.”
- Tania—Caregiver to Kenny, a Boston Scientific DBS patient
DBS is most effective when:9
Remember, PD varies from person to person
There is no age cut off for DBS, yet overall health status will influence if you are a good candidate or not.
You are still responding positively to medications (levodopa) but are no longer able to control motor symptoms with only medications.
Signs and evidence of dementia may influence if a specialist recommends you for DBS.
The best way to control any disease progression is to be proactive and start talking to your care team now. A DBS specialist could help you.
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Results from different clinical investigations are not directly comparable. Information provided for educational purposes only.
Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.
References: 1. American Parkinson Disease Association. What is Parkinson's disease? Accessed June 30, 2021. https://www.apdaparkinson.org/what-is-parkinsons 2. Parkinson’s Foundation. Causes. Accessed July 1, 2021. http://parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/causes-and-statistics 3. Boston Scientific Patient Information Brochure. A brighter future is taking shape: treating Parkinson’s disease with deep brain stimulation. Copyright 2021. 4. Timmermann L, Jain R, Chen L, et al. Multiple-source current steering in subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease (the VANTAGE study): a non-randomised, prospective, multicentre, open-label study. Lancet Neurol. 2015;14:693-701. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00087-3 5. Vitek JL, Jain R, Chen L, et al. Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation with a multiple independent constant current-controlled device in Parkinson’s disease (INTREPID): a multicenter, double-blind, randomised, sham-controlled study. Lancet Neurology. 2020;19(6):491‐501. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30108-3 6. Farris SM, Giroux, ML. (2013). DBS: A Patient Guide to Deep Brain Stimulation. 1st ed. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2013. 7. Krack P, Batir A, Van Blercom, N. Five-year follow-up of bilateral stimulation of the subthalmic nucleus in advanced Parkinson’s disease. N Eng J Med. 2003:349(20):1925-1934. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa035275 8. Schuepbach WMM, Rau JK, Knudsen K, et al. Neurostimulation for Parkinson’s disease with early motor complications. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:610-622. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1205158 9. Neurology Solutions Movement Disorders Center. Who is a candidate for deep brain stimulation surgery? Accessed July 1, 2021. https://www.neurologysolutions.com/surgical-therapies/criteria-deep-brain-stimulation-surgery/
Indications for Use: The Boston Scientific Deep Brain Stimulation Systems are indicated for use in:
- Bilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) as an adjunctive therapy in reducing some of the symptoms of moderate to advanced levodopa responsive Parkinson's disease (PD) that are not adequately controlled with medication.
- Bilateral stimulation of the internal globus pallidus (GPi) as an adjunctive therapy in reducing some of the symptoms of advanced levodopa responsive Parkinson's disease (PD) that are not adequately controlled with medication.
Contraindications, warnings, precautions, side effects: The Deep Brain Stimulation Systems or any of its components, is contraindicated for: Diathermy as either a treatment for a medical condition or as part of a surgical procedure, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as the safety of these therapies in patients implanted with the Vercise™ DBS System has not been established, patients who are unable to operate the system, patients who are poor surgical candidates or who experience unsuccessful test stimulation. Patients implanted with Boston Scientific Deep Brain Stimulation Systems without ImageReady™ MRI Technology should not be exposed to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Patients implanted with Vercise Gevia™ or Vercise Genus™ or Vercise DBS Lead-only system (before Stimulator is implanted) with ImageReady MRI Technology are Full Body MR Conditional only when exposed to the MRI environment under the specific conditions defined in ImageReady MRI Guidelines for Boston Scientific Deep Brain Stimulation Systems. Assess patients for the risks of depression and suicide. This assessment should consider both the risk of depression and suicide as well as the potential clinical benefits of DBS therapy. Monitor patients for new or worsening symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or changes in mood or impulse control and manage appropriately. Refer to the Instructions for Use provided with the Vercise DBS System or BostonScientific.com for potential adverse effects, warnings, and precautions prior to using this product.
Warnings: Unauthorized modification to the medical devices is prohibited. You should not be exposed to high stimulation levels. High level of stimulation may damage brain tissue. Patients implanted with the Vercise DBS System may be at risk for intracranial hemorrhages (bleeding in the brain) during DBS lead placement. Strong electromagnetic fields, such as power generators, security screeners or theft detection systems, can potentially turn the stimulator off, or cause unpredictable changes in stimulation. The system should not be charged while sleeping. If you notice new onset or worsening depression, changes in mood or behavior or impulse control, or have thoughts of suicide contact your physician or emergency services immediately. Chemical burns may result if the Vercise Stimulator housing is ruptured or pierced. The Deep Brain Stimulation System may interfere with the operation of implanted stimulation devices, such as cardiac pacemakers, implanted cardioverter defibrillators, or medication delivery pumps. Patients should operate motorized vehicles or potentially dangerous machinery with caution. It is unknown if the device may hurt an unborn baby. Your doctor may be able to provide additional information on the Boston Scientific Vercise DBS System. For complete indications for use, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and side effects, call 833-DBS-INFO or 833-327-4636.
CAUTION: U.S. Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.
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