Questions and Answers About the Therapy Deep Brain Stimulation for Dystonia
DBS Therapy uses an implanted device that stimulates specific areas of the brain. This may help control some of your dystonia* symptoms but it is not a cure. Your symptoms will return when the system is turned off or removed.
DBS uses a small, pacemaker-like device, placed under the skin of the chest, to send electronic signals to an area in the brain that is the source of your symptoms.
One or two neurostimulators are needed for dystonia therapy. The implanted components are:
The device settings and stimulation levels can be adjusted noninvasively by a clinician using a programming device.
DBS Therapy for dystonia may help control your symptoms, but it is not a cure. When you turn on the brain stimulation system, it will deliver stimulation that may decrease some or all of your symptoms. Your symptoms will return when the system is turned off.
Risks of DBS can include risks of surgery, side effects, or device complications. Please refer to Risks and Probable Benefits for more information.
Medtronic started developing deep brain stimulation in 1987 and has been the leader in the field ever since. Your Medtronic DBS will be backed by our decades of research, innovation, and experience.
Medtronic DBS Therapy is currently approved to treat Parkinson's disease and essential tremor, and as a Humanitarian Device to treat dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Since 1997, more than 140,000 patients worldwide have received Medtronic DBS Therapy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Medtronic DBS Therapy in 2003 as a Humanitarian Use Device for dystonia. A Humanitarian Use Device is intended to benefit patients by treating or diagnosing a disease or condition that affects fewer than 4,000 new people in the United States each year.
The FDA reviewed the safety of Medtronic DBS Therapy for dystonia and determined that the probable health benefits outweigh the risks of injury or illness from its use. Efficacy of treatment (effectiveness) has not been established by large clinical trials. Surgery to implant the system can only be performed in a medical center whose institutional review board has approved use of the device.
*Humanitarian Device - Authorized by Federal Law as an aid in the management of chronic, intractable (drug refractory) primary dystonia, including generalized and/or segmental dystonia, hemidystonia, and cervical dystonia (torticollis), in patients seven years of age or above. The effectiveness of the devices for treating these conditions has not been demonstrated.
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.