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.
Log on to learning
Find webinars hosted by specialists in PD and DBS.
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/