DBS in the continuum of care for PD and other movement disorders

Sponsored by Medtronic
Dallas, Texas
March 26 and 27, 2010

It is known that a significant portion of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are not evaluated or managed by movement disorder specialists. Thus, the Medtronic Neuromodulation Division sponsored a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Forum in Dallas to help educate a large group of general neurologists about DBS therapy.  Medtronic invited distinguished leaders in the field of DBS therapy to educate these neurologists about DBS as a therapy that may be appropriate for some of their patients. The neurologists were provided information about the history of DBS, the current state of DBS therapy, factors important to the success of DBS, and emerging technologies and interventions with DBS.

The topics headings included:

  • The History and Overview of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease
  •  Emerging Clinical Study Data in DBS for PD
  •  Long-term Outcomes with DBS in PD
  •  Overview of Surgical Approach to DBS
  •  DBS Case Study Presentation
  • Neuropsychological Complications/Safety
  • Dystonia/Tremor
  • Practical Considerations of DBS: Referrals, Patient Selection, and Management
  • The Patient Perspective
  • The future of Parkinson’s Disease Management
  • Emerging Science
  • Emerging Neuromodulation Technologies

Needless-to-say, treatment for a variety of medical conditions has come a long way, and DBS therapy has proven to be an intervention that has benefitted many patients’ functional capability and improved quality of life (e.g., for patients with PD, Dystonia, Epilepsy, and some psychiatric illness, to name a few). As for individuals with PD who have undergone DBS, we are now starting to look at long term data for patients who have had DBS for more than 10 years. We are identifying how DBS impacts specific motor symptoms. We are beginning to understand at deeper levels how important it is to understand the non-motor symptoms of PD (psychological functions, cognitive/thinking skills, speech, autonomic dysfunction, etc.), which may be impacted either positively or negatively with DBS, or not at all. We are also improving our pharmacological management with PD patients, as it relates to understanding the impact of traditional anti-Parkinson medications as well as newly marketed anti-Parkinson medications. We are certainly on a relatively new frontier, and our scientists, clinicians, and device companies are working diligently to enhance current treatments, and to identify new, innovative intervention.

Closing Remarks:
We wanted to mention that Carol Walton, CEO of The Parkinson Alliance, had the opportunity to meet with Medtronic’s District Managers, and they are making an effort to work with The Parkinson Alliance to assist in connecting with and obtaining the “patient’s perspective” as it relates to DBS therapy. Medtronic is introducing us to their resources and connections to other professionals to expand our exposure and visibility to the community.

We want to conclude by taking this opportunity to thank Medtronic for this terrific educational opportunity and for the collaborative efforts to educate clinicians, patients, and the patient’s carers and families, with the ultimate outcome of finding ways to improve the patient’s experience with innovative treatments for PD and overall quality of life.