First patient implanted with St Jude's Brio neurostimulator
10 September 2009
St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) has announced the first implant of
the Brio neurostimulator and the EU approval of the device, which it
claims is the world’s smallest, longest-lasting rechargeable deep brain
stimulation (DBS) device for treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s
A 67-year-old man who has suffered from Parkinson’s disease for more
than 26 years became the first person to be implanted with the Brio
Slightly larger than the typical man’s watch, the Brio
neurostimulator has a thin 10 mm profile and weighs 29 grams
(approximately 1 oz). Additionally, the device has the greatest
recommended implant depth of any rechargeable DBS device. The thin
profile and greater implant depth potentially makes the neurostimulator
less noticeable and more comfortable for patients.
“Deep brain stimulation therapy is often the preferred treatment for
many Parkinson’s disease patients,” said Professor Dr. Volker Sturm,
chairman of neurosurgery at the University Hospital of Cologne. “For
these patients, device size and longevity are important considerations.
The small size of the Brio neurostimulator is a real improvement and was
a good choice for this patient.”
The procedure was performed by Professor Sturm’s colleague, Dr.
Mohammad Maarouf, at the University Hospital of Cologne.
The Brio DBS system delivers mild electrical pulses to specific
targets in the brain, stimulating the structures that are involved in
motor control. The system consists of a neurostimulator — a surgically
implanted battery-operated device that generates the electrical pulses —
and leads which carry the pulses to the brain to influence the irregular
nerve signals responsible for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
“The Brio neurostimulator is an important addition to our family of
deep brain stimulation systems,” said Chris Chavez, president of the St.
Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division. “We are excited to offer
physicians a best-in-class product to help them meet the needs of
patients who require a smaller, long-lasting rechargeable system in
order to better control the symptoms of this debilitating disease.”
In addition to its small size, the Brio neurostimulator has the
longest battery life of any rechargeable DBS device currently on the
market with a 10-year battery longevity approval. For patients this
means the device should provide sustainable therapy and maintain a
reasonable recharge interval for at least 10 years of use at high
settings. The device’s battery longevity may also maximize the time
between device replacement procedures.
Additionally, St. Jude Medical has recently received CE Mark approval
for the Guardian Burr Hole Cover System, a DBS system component that
allows physicians to efficiently secure the electrical leads. The
Guardian System is compatible with all St. Jude Medical DBS leads.
Parkinson’s disease affects an estimated 6.3 million people
worldwide, according to the European Parkinson’s Disease Association.
The disease usually develops in people between the ages of 40 and 70,
with an average age of onset of 60 years.
St. Jude Medical is also currently developing new DBS applications to
address a growing list of neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Clinical studies are underway in the U.S. for depression and essential
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