Deep brain stimulation (DBS) implants are drastically improving the lives of thousands of those with Parkinson’s, essential tremor, and other neurological disorders. Although already pretty incredible in their abilities, these are usually fire and forget devices that run a certain program that doesn’t change throughout the day while a person’s natural brain activity does.
Medtronic is taking a step toward smarter brain stimulators with the just unveiled Activa PC+S DBS that features sensing technology capable of reporting the brain’s electrical activity back to the physician. The company is initially planning on trialing the device in selected hospitals to allow physicians to gather data and learn how varying treatment can improve patient well-being. The device records electrical brain activity simultaneously as it delivers neurostimulation therapy. The recorded data can then be offloaded for clinical review.
From the announcement:
“Devastating conditions like Parkinson’s disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder take a significant toll on countless people, as well as their loved ones,” said Lothar Krinke, Ph.D., vice president and general manager of the Deep Brain Stimulation business in Medtronic’s Neuromodulation division. “Medtronic is excited to provide this new system to researchers worldwide, and we expect that their respective studies will lead to accelerated understanding of how neurological and psychological conditions develop and progress. This represents a significant milestone for DBS therapy and the long-term journey toward a closed-loop DBS system, which could personalize therapy by using device data to automatically adjust to the needs of individual patients.”