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History of Medtronic DBS therapy

DBS implant

Neurologists and neurosurgeons have used electrical stimulation since the 1960s as a way to locate and distinguish specific sites in the brain. In the process, they discovered that stimulation of certain brain structures could suppress the symptoms of neurological disorders such as Essential Tremor, Dystonia and Parkinson's.

Medtronic introduced the first pacemaker 60 years ago, in the 1980s, as a result of the application of the pacemaker technology to neurological disorders. Medtronic then developed brain stimulation technology in conjunction with leading physician researchers and, in 1987, professors Alim-Louis Benabid and Pierre Pollak of the University of Grenoble in France published the results of the first application of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Movement disorders. Since then, four indications for Medtronic DBS therapy have become available.

Medtronic DBS therapy for Essential Tremor, which has been approved in Canada, Europe and Australia since 1993 and in the United States since 1997, targets the Thalamus to suppress tremor associated with Essential Tremor or Parkinson's disease. The thalamus is the brain's message relay center and is intricately involved in movement control.

Medtronic DBS therapy for Parkinson’s disease was approved in the United States in 2002. It has been approved in Canada, Europe and Australia since 1998. It extends the use of Medtronic's brain stimulation technology to benefit patients with advanced, Levodopa responsive Parkinson's disease. Medtronic DBS therapy for Parkinson’s targets the Subthalamic nucleus (STN) or the internal Globus Pallidus (GPi) to suppress some of the symptoms of Parkinson's. These areas are also intricately involved in movement control.

Since 1993, more than 80,000 patients worldwide have received Medtronic DBS therapy for movement disorders.

More than 20 years of collaboration with the medical community has enabled Medtronic Neuromodulation to push the frontiers of medicine and to develop new therapy solutions for patients with Psychiatric conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Epilepsy.

In July 2009 Medtronic pioneered another landmark and received the world’s first DBS CE mark approval for a psychiatric condition. And in 2010 , another major milestone was granted, the CE mark for the treatment of Epilepsy refractory to medical treatment.

Today Medtronic is also leading the way towards other psychiatric conditions such as Depression amongst many other conditions.


About Medtronic

With the invention of the pacemaker, Medtronic created a new industry based on medical technology. For over 60 years, Medtronic has worked with physicians from around the world to create products and therapies that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. Medtronic currently provides products and services that treat more than two million people a year. To date, more than 80,000 patients have benefited from Medtronic DBS therapies over the world. For more information about Medtronic visit www.medtronic.eu