New DBS option for Parkinson's patients

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for use in people who have had Parkinson's disease for at least four years, and with recent onset of motor complications, or who have had motor complications of longer-standing duration that are not adequately controlled with medication.

The FDA approved Medtronic DBS Therapy in 2002 for those with advanced Parkinson's disease. The widening of the treatment reflects research indicating it can benefit those at an earlier stage of the degenerative disease. In a study, 85% of patients who received DBS with best medical therapy had clinically meaningful improvement.

The treatment could improve Parkinson's patients' quality of life and allow them to work longer, experts said.

"Strong clinical evidence demonstrates that, when compared to the best medical treatment alone, Medtronic DBS Therapy offers Parkinson's patients with recent onset of motor fluctuations and dyskinesias not adequately controlled with medication a higher likelihood of symptom improvement,” said Mahlon DeLong, M.D., the W. P. Timmie Professor of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine.