New Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Technology Now Available

Medtronic announces introduction of Percept PC Neurostimulator with Brainsense Technology

On June 26, 2020 Medtronic announced the introduction of an upgraded deep brain stimulation (DBS) system known as PerceptTM PC Neurostimulator with BrainsenseTM Technology. The technology in the new system is the first to not only deliver electrical stimulation to the brain, with the goal of reducing Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms, but to capture the electrical activity of the brain.  Medtronic has been working with DBS therapy for more than 25 years, and some may be familiar with their existing Activa DBS device.

The PerceptTM system is capable of recording local field potentials (LFPs) from the neurons that are in contact with the implanted DBS electrode. Research over the past decade has demonstrated that certain LFP patterns are present during bradykinesia (slow movement) of PD and certain LFP patterns are associated with the improvement of symptoms due to medication intake or DBS stimulation. With the PerceptTM system in place, the DBS neurologist can observe the LFP patterns in each individual patient as they correlate with reported symptoms and medication ingestion. The neurologist can also make adjustments to the DBS settings and determine the effects of the adjustments on the LFP. Although the clinical benefit of making DBS adjustments based on recorded LFP have not yet been clearly established, knowing more about how the neurons of the brain are firing during PD symptoms, medication intake, and DBS adjustments, will hopefully increase the ability of DBS to improve clinical outcomes.

Under certain MRI and device conditions, people with the new system in place can undergo an MRI in a 1.5 or 3 Tesla MRI machine, and it is 20% smaller and thinner than the previous Medtronic model. Battery life is longer and prediction of battery life is more accurate. Finally, the patient programmer (which controls the device) for the clinician and patient have been upgraded.

APDA welcomes this new addition to the arsenal of DBS technologies available to physicians to treat the symptoms of PD. If you are considering DBS, talk with your neurosurgeon and DBS neurologist about the features of the various available DBS systems (from Medtronic and others) and so you can decide which will best suit your specific needs. You can also learn more about DBS here.