UF Health neurosurgeons say new brain implant will combat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - UF Health neurosurgeons were the first in the nation to implant a device that doctors said will essentially send waves to stabilize those abnormal signals that cause tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia.

The FDA recently approved Medtronic’s SenSight Directional Lead System and neurosurgeons have already implanted five or six of the devices in patients.

Related story: UF Health first in the nation to implant a newly FDA approved device in a patient’s brain

It implants eight electrical wires in select areas of the brain that steer the electrical current.

They’ve been working on Deep Brain Stimulation(DBS) which alleviates tremors and symptoms like slowness and abnormal muscle contractions.

UF Health’s Dr. Leonardo Almeida said what they used previously is almost like the waves that occur after throwing a rock in the water and the new devices give doctors more control.

“Now, with some of those contacts being segmented we can actually divide that wave in pieces of the pie that you send a stimulation to target a specific area where we are placing that in the brain and not only that, we can have real time feedback from the brain wave activity,” Dr. Almeida said.

The device is also capable of turning on and off when needed, and they are doing research to prove to the FDA that this function is safe.

Dr. Kelly Foote said this device is easier to implant and less prone to problems.

“We believe it is such a substantial improvement over the DBS system, the deep brain stimulation system we were using before that we will probably use it for the vast majority of our patients going forward and I suspect most places will feel similarly,” Dr. Foote said.

The device has been used around the world and doctors said many american surgeons have reached out to see how the procedures are going.

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