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Benefits and Risks – DBS Therapy


DBS Therapy extends the control you already get from your medication for movement symptoms of Parkinson's. Here you can find out about the benefits of DBS Therapy and safety considerations. Then you will be prepared for a conversation with your doctor about whether DBS Therapy may be right for you.

Treats Tremors and More

DBS Therapy has been approved by the FDA to treat movement symptoms of Parkinson's: shaking, stiffness, and difficulty moving.

5 More Hours Symptom Free

When used along with medication, DBS Therapy gives patients an average of 5 more hours of symptom-free time every day,1 in addition to what they receive from medications. Think about what 5 more hours a day would mean for you.

More Relief, Not More Medicine

DBS does not contain medicine. In addition, most patients are able to take less medication when they have DBS,1 which may mean fewer drug-induced side effects like uncontrolled movements.

Established Therapy for Over 10 Years

While DBS may be new to you, it's been helping people with Parkinson's for more than 10 years. Today, it is used all over the world. Over 100,000 people have received DBS Therapy.

Programmed for Your Needs

Your doctor programs the device to best control your individual symptoms. This is done wirelessly. The system can also be turned off if necessary. You may have a controller that will allow you to turn the system on and off, adjust the stimulation, and check the battery.

MRI Safe

Someday you may need a magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan to diagnose the cause of a common condition, such as hearing loss, headache, vision problems, seizures, tumours, or stroke. All Medtronic DBS systems are designed so that an MRI full body scan is possible with proper safeguards.

Keeps Your Future Options Open

DBS Therapy will not reduce your future therapy options. DBS Therapy is reversible and the system can be removed (unlike other surgical options). Down the road, you can continue medications and take advantage of new treatments, or even a cure.

Safety Information and Risks

DBS Therapy is not for everyone, so it's important to talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks.

In one study, 99 percent of serious adverse events associated with Medtronic DBS Therapy were resolved by 6 months.3

Risks of brain surgery may include serious complications such as coma, bleeding inside the brain, seizures, and infection. Some of these may be fatal. Once implanted, the system may become infected, parts may wear through your skin, and the lead or lead/extension connector may move. Medtronic DBS Therapy could stop suddenly because of mechanical or electrical problems. Any of these situations may require additional surgery or cause your symptoms to return.

Medtronic DBS Therapy may cause worsening of some motor symptoms associated with your movement disorder, and may cause speech and language impairments. Stimulation parameters may be adjusted to minimize side effects and attain maximum symptom control. In patients receiving Medtronic DBS Therapy, depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide have been reported. Occurrence of falls has also been reported in patients with Parkinson's.

For complete safety information about Medtronic DBS Therapy, please consult your doctor, call the Medtronic DBS Helpline on +44 (0) 1923 205101, or go to Important Safety Information.



Medtronic DBS Therapy for Parkinson's and Essential Tremor Clinical Summary, 2013.


Medtronic, data on file.


Weaver FM, Follett KA, Stern M, et al. Bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation vs Best Medical Therapy for Patients with Advanced Parkinson Disease. JAMA. 2009;301(1):63-73.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.