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Medtronic DBS therapy for Parkinson’s is a long-term treatment that requires the user's involvement – as well as that of the healthcare team. Following the implantation of the system, the person with Parkinson's will work closely with his/her healthcare team to make sure the treatment meets his/her specific needs. The Medtronic team will also be available to support users during their journey with DBS.

The Medtronic neurostimulators portfolio includes three different devices:

  • Percept™ PC neurostimulator, which uses innovative technology to ensure treatment is adapted to the patient's health needs
  • ACTIVA™ RC neurostimulator
  • ACTIVA™ SC neurostimulator

Your doctor will recommend the right DBS device according to your needs.

Medtronic Percept PC neurostimulator in body

Device characteristics

Battery life

Percept™ PC neurostimulator

Percept PC delivers stimulation to both sides of the brain through two leads (thin wires). The battery does not need to be recharged. It lasts five years on average, depending on the programmed settings. Surgery is then required to replace the battery.

Medtronic Percept PC neurostimulator

ACTIVA™ RC neurostimulator 

Activa RC is used with two thin wires (leads) to deliver stimulation to both sides of the brain. The rechargeable battery allows users to keep the same device for 15 years before replacing during surgery. You need to recharge the battery regularly with an external recharger.

Medtronica Activa RC neurostimulator

ACTIVA™ SC neurostimulator

Activa SC is used with one lead (thin wire) to deliver stimulation to one side of the brain. The battery does not need to be recharged. It lasts three to five years on average, depending on the programmed settings. Surgery is then required to replace the battery.

Medtronic Activa SC neurostimulator

MRI safety

MRI can be used to diagnose a number of conditions, and it is estimated that seven out of ten patients eligible for DBS therapy may need an MRI following their implant1. Until recently, such patients have had to turn their DBS systems off for scans – or forego MRI altogether due to the potential health risks and complications of using the two technologies together.

Medtronic devices allow full-body MRI scans with continuous therapy – this means that you will not need to interrupt the stimulation during an MRI. This is especially important for people living with tremors or dystonia.
Furthermore, because the system remains ON during the MRI scan and movements are minimised, image quality may be improved.

The Percept™ PC neurostimulator has full-body MR Conditional access anywhere on the body for both 1.5T and 3T MRI scans. 

The Activa™ portfolio provides safe access to MRI anywhere on the body under certain conditions. 

Medtronic DBS devices are safe for MRI scans only under certain conditions. Refer to the MRI Guidelines for Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation Systems for a complete list of conditions.


  1. Based on recommendations by European and national medical societies. Analyses based on Parkinson's comorbidities recommended for MRI in Europe, the % was calculated for a real-life Parkinson's population potentially eligible for DBS, from US commercial health insurance database (Conroy et al, conference presentation, ECR 2015, Vienna).

Device programming

Your doctor will programme your Medtronic DBS system to best control your current symptoms. 

The Medtronic patient programmer allows you to turn the DBS system on and off and check the battery life. It will alert you before the battery runs out, so you have time to plan for a replacement. You may also be able to adjust the level of stimulation within options programmed by your doctor.

The Percept™ patient programmer allows you to track events such as when you took medication or experienced particular symptoms. Your doctor can then see what you have logged at your next appointment and tailor your treatment accordingly

The Percept™ PC neurostimulator features a new technology called BrainSense™. The device captures brain signal data directly from your implanted leads and stores it so your doctor can get a real-time picture of how the therapy is working. Using this data, your doctor can adjust your settings – personalising your therapy for the best possible outcome.

All Medtronic neurostimulators store data about your therapy and the programmed settings that have worked for you in the past. This means you do not need to carry such records if you travel or switch clinics. A doctor can access the information in your neurostimulator using a clinician programmer.

Read more about device programming.

Medtronic Percept PC neurostimulator programming

Clinical evidence and safety

DBS is not an experimental treatment. Medtronic DBS Therapy has been studied by clinical researchers for decades and is supported by five Level 1 clinical studies.

The Medtronic DBS Therapy system has been assessed with Level 1 evidence and is FDA-approved for people with Parkinson’s who had recent onset of movement symptoms as well as those with longer-standing movement symptoms.

The evidence compendium downloadable below, developed by the EPDA and Medtronic, presents summaries of key clinical trials that address various aspects of DBS for Parkinson’s:

Read more about DBS safety profiles, and more research on Medtronic DBS.

User stories

Laura from Belgium's deep brain stimulation’s story

Nicky from the UK's Deep Brain Stimulation's story 

Read more DBS user stories.


The content above has been provided by Medtronic but edited by the EPDA to supply people with Parkinson’s and their families who are interested in DBS as much information as possible to discuss with their healthcare teams. For general information about DBS and about devices developed by other companies, please see Deep brain stimulation (DBS).

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