Medtronic just announced winning FDA approval for its Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy to be offered to Parkinson’s patients who have lived with the disease for at least four years and recently developed new motor issues or have had motor issues that existing meds have not helped with. Previously, the technology was only indicated for patients with advanced cases of Parkinson’s.
Some details from Medtronic regarding the study that led to the approval:
This recent approval by the FDA was based on data from the EARLYSTIM clinical study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013, which found that patients treated with Medtronic DBS Therapy and best medical therapy (BMT) reported a mean improvement of 26 percent in their disease-related quality of life at two years, compared to a one percent decline in patients treated with BMT alone. In a study of patients with longer-standing motor complications, DBS patients’ quality of life improved 20 percent from baseline to six months compared to no improvement in the patients treated with BMT alone.
In the EARLYSTIM study, 85 percent of patients who received DBS along with BMT had a clinically meaningful improvement compared to only 36 percent in the BMT alone group over 24 months. Thirty percent of patients that remained on BMT alone got worse over 24 months compared to only two percent in the DBS group. The study also found a 61 percent improvement in levodopa-induced complications, including dyskinesias and motor fluctuations, in participants receiving Medtronic DBS therapy at two years, compared to a 13 percent worsening in those only receiving BMT. Additionally, a long-term study of people with advanced Parkinson’s disease who received DBS therapy show benefits at 10 years, despite potential surgical and device-related complications.