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Directional deep brain stimulation for movement disorders now being used

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HOUSTON – (Oct. 10, 2016) – St. Luke's Health–Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center is one of the first hospitals in the country to use the St. Jude Medical Infinity™ Deep Brain Stimulation System, an advanced treatment option recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients with Parkinson's disease and essential tremor.

Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure that uses electrical stimulation to target areas in the brain that control movement. This process blocks the nerve signals that cause the symptoms found in movement disorders such as in Parkinson's disease, including tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and balance problems.

The new device uses a directional lead designed to more precisely steer electrical current to relevant areas of the brain while avoiding areas that may cause side effects. Up to eight independent electrode contacts can be programmed, creating a more customized therapy.

“The current steering made possible by the Infinity system offers a new method to individualize and optimize the benefit from DBS for patients with movement disorders who are candidates for the treatment,” said Dr. Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Deep Brain Stimulation Program Director at the Baylor College of Medicine Neuroscience Institute.

Two procedures are required to fully implant the device, over the course of one to two weeks. The process of fine tuning the stimualtor occurs in the clinic and may take several months for patients with Parkinson's disease.

The new device is controlled in the doctor's office using a wireless iOS software platform on an iPad mini™ mobile digital device, and offers a streamlined programming experience. Patients can also use an iPod Touch mobile device controller to discreetly manage their symptoms.


Note: Apple, iPod touch and iPad mini are trademarks of Apple, Inc., iOS is a trademark of Cisco Technology, Inc.

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