Henry Ford first in the U.S. to offer FDA-approved DBS system to treat Parkinson's disease

The Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Center at Henry Ford Health System was the first in the United States to offer a new FDA-approved device to help treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Neurosurgeon Jason Schwalb, M.D. surgically implanted the Vercise Genus™ Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) System, which stimulates a targeted region of the brain through - implanted leads that are placed in the brain. The leads are powered by a device called an implantable pulse generator, which sits under the skin in the chest. The case was performed at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

Over the past 25 years, more than 160,000 DBS systems have been surgically implanted in patients worldwide to help treat movement disorders, such as Parkinson's Disease. The Vercise Genus DBS system, which is the fourth generation of the platform and received FDA approval in January 2021, is small and thin, and allows patients to safely undergo MRI scans, when certain conditions are met.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological condition that affects nearly one million people in the U.S. and 10 million people worldwide. It is the second most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer's disease. Most people who are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease are aged 60 or older, and the condition more commonly affects men than women.

The first line of treatment for people with Parkinson's disease is medication, however, medication alone may not always be effective for some patients. To help improve quality of life, in some cases, physicians will consider treatments beyond medication, such as DBS.

With neurodegenerative movement disorders like Parkinson's disease, the ability to deliver the right dose of stimulation where it is needed can make a remarkable difference in controlling an individual patient's symptoms. This new Deep Brain Stimulation system has the ability to adapt therapy to address fluctuations in symptoms and the progressive nature of the condition, which allows us to control stimulation precisely and minimize unwanted side effects."

Jason Schwalb, M.D., Neurosurgeon, Henry Ford Health System

When Vercise Genus DBS System is turned on, the implanted pulse generator sends a pre-determined program of mild electrical impulses to stimulate the brain. Unlike traditional DBS systems that are built from pacemaker technology, the Vercise Genus DBS System technology is developed from a foundation of cochlear implant technology and the precise stimulation of auditory nerves it uses to replicate hearing.

The Vercise Genus DBS System is equipped with Bluetooth® connectivity to provide enhanced communication during programming. The System's proprietary Cartesia3D provides physicians and patients the precise control of stimulation they need to optimize therapy, and the ability to deliver the prescribed amount of therapy to target different regions of the brain, which can help address changes in symptoms during the progression of the condition.

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