Nearly 1 million people in the United States live with Parkinson’s disease. Those with the condition often experience worsening tremors, reduced movement, body stiffness and cognitive changes, all of which may significantly impact their quality of life. Over 20 years ago, Medtronic partnered with visionary clinicians to develop Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) technology to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s. To help clinicians and patients better optimize the therapy, Medtronic sought user-friendly mobile devices to adjust the programming of DBS implants and to put more control into the patient’s hands.
Parkinson’s is a disease of the central nervous system that is caused when neurons in the midbrain begin to die and levels of dopamine decrease. It is characterized by tremors, muscle rigidity and slow movement, as well as cognitive changes. As a progressive condition, symptoms worsen over time.
Over the past two decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been established as a safe and effective treatment for the reduction of Parkinsonian tremors. Medtronic has been an innovator in DBS treatment and its Activa implant system was the first rechargeable technology on the market globally.
The Medtronic DBS therapy system involves implanting a neurostimulator device in the pectoral area of the patient’s chest. Thin wires, called leads, extend from the neurostimulator to the brain to deliver electrical signals. Those electrical signals help reduce movement symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.