This will play a video. - Senior couple toasting with tea sitting on sofa

When is the best time
to consider DBS Therapy?


The right time for DBS is when medications alone aren't providing enough relief, but still have some effect. The right time to talk with your doctor about DBS is now — so you know all your options and can act at the right time.


Parkinson’s is a progressive disease — the symptoms get worse over time. It’s best to consider DBS therapy before your Parkinson’s symptoms have progressed beyond what is called “the window of opportunity.” This is when your Parkinson’s medications are not as effective as they used to be, but before your symptoms stop responding to medication.

DBS therapy will be most effective in treating your Parkinson’s if you:

  • Have responded well to dopaminergic medication (e.g., levodopa)1
  • Still benefit from medication, but it’s becoming less effective or causing intolerable side effects2
  • Require multiple medications, higher dosages, or more frequent doses to manage your symptoms2

The window of opportunity for DBS3

graphic showing the effectiveness of Parkinson's disease medication and suggested window for DBS treatment
number 1 icon

Oral medication is controlling symptoms: start thinking about DBS

number 2 icon

Oral medication is still working but not as effectively: DBS may be a good option

number 3 icon

Symptoms no longer respond to oral therapies: DBS is no longer an option

DBS is more effective if you start early

We want to see you gain the most out of DBS therapy. The earlier DBS is introduced, the greater the benefits. DBS therapy will no longer be an option if you wait until:

  • Your symptoms no longer respond to medication
  • You develop medical conditions that prevent surgery such as cognitive impairment, gait and balance problems
  • You become severely disabled


Talk with your neurologist now

Discuss DBS therapy with your neurologist early in your treatment plan, even if your symptoms are still being controlled by medication. Give yourself the time to consider the potential benefits and possible risks of the therapy, so that you can choose whether DBS is right for you when the window of opportunity arrives.

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



Okun MS, Fallo BV, Mandybur G, et al. Subthalamic deep brain stimulation with a constant current device in Parkinson’s disease: an open label randomized clinical trial. Lancet Neurology. 2012;11(12):1014-1015.


Basic Information About Parkinson's Disease. Available at: European Parkinson's Disease Association.


Okun MS, Foote KD. Parkinson’s disease DBS: what, when, who and why? The time has come to tailor DBS targets. Expert Rev Neurother. 2010 December ; 10(12): 1847–1857”

Results may vary from patient to patient. Not everyone who receives Medtronic DBS therapy will experience the same results. Some people may experience significant symptom relief from DBS therapy, and others may experience minimal relief.

Talk to your doctor to see if Medtronic DBS therapy is right for you. For further information, please consult your healthcare professional who can explain the benefits and risks and important safety information.