A growing medical technology niche
Electricity entering the body can be dangerous and even deadly when not utilized under the appropriate conditions. The positive effects of electricity can be synthesized when under the right conditions, such as when electricity is used to advance modern medicine. The Parkinson’s disease pacemaker is a device that runs on electricity, despite where the pacemaker is located. The pacemaker is connected to the brain, one of the most sensitive and vital organs found within the human body. The pacemaker for the brain has much in common with a cardiovascular related pacemaker, which regulates the beating of the heart. The brain pacemaker was developed by a company known as DBS, and there are several parts connected to the pacemaker, such as “the generator, a self-contained unit with a battery, sends pulses of electricity through the leads to stimulate areas of the brain, reducing or in some cases even eliminating the most debilitating parts of the disease. A small, cellphone-size remote control can be used to adjust the “dosage” of electricity and can turn the device on and off.” The ease of access provided by these devices has caused this experimental technology to grow in popularity. The efficiency of this product has many other positive aspects associated with it, including a large monetary demand. These brain pacemakers are relatively expensive due to the invasive procedures required to allow the devices to function properly. In the medical community, it is customary for emerging technologies to receive funding, and the brain pacemaker has acquired enough attention to warrant a significant amount of financial backing. For instance, “the three companies’ business lines focused on neurology had roughly $1 billion in combined sales in the most recent reported quarter. Medtronic’s brain therapies group is the leader, with $522 million in sales in the most recent quarter, though it does not break out DBS sales specifically. Abbott’s neuromodulation unit had $300 million in global sales, with approximately 10 percent coming from DBS sales, but it says DBS has been growing since launching in the United States last year”. Not only are brain pacemakers highly effective, they are useful in the sense of monetary progression. The sales from the procedures alone compensate the total amount of funding given to the project. From a neurological stand-point, there is no positive correlation between the brain pacemaker implants and brain cell nerve damage. However, the structural integrity of the brain can be compromised under certain circumstances. The biggest challenge concerning this cutting-edge Parkinson’s disease treatment would arise from the potential dangers caused by the actual pacemaker device. The procedures used to apply the implant onto the patient’s brain are invasive, causing many individuals to feel a sense of apprehension towards this new form of technology. However, it is highly unlikely for these implants to cause negative repercussions. In fact, “Properly implanted leads do not cause brain damage, and only create microlesions, or small cuts in the brain tissue, and a buildup of glial tissue, cells that support neurons.” The tissues of the brain are durable to a certain degree, but they are not invulnerable to irritation by an external object. So far, no actual fatalities or injuries have been caused by the brain pacemaker, still making this technology the most efficient of its kind. Advances in DBS technology
DBS technology takes pride in how advanced their medical products have grown over the last few decades. The brain pacemaker is easily one of the most recognized Parkinson’s disease treatment options available in the medical world. Studies have shown that “Although the treatment has been around since the 90’s, there have been some incremental advances to the technology, including leads capable of focusing electricity to increasingly specific parts of the brain and smaller generators capable of connecting to devices using Bluetooth.” The technology used in the brain pacemaker is interactive and simple to use, as a result of a quality technologies put into action by the engineering staff of these brain pacemaker technologies. The functionality of these products only grows as more issues surrounding Parkinson’s disease occur. Another example of these large technological advances would come from Abbott’s DBS system which was the first to be approved in the United States with a “directional lead,” which allows physicians to direct current more precisely than traditional DBS. It also allows for system control from an iPod Touch.” Not only are these brain pacemakers helpful in the sense of regulating Parkinson’s disease, the DBS pacemaker is also heavily convenient. For quite some time, the negative effects of Parkinson’s disease have been difficult to suppress in most patients who have contracted the condition. Today, the individuals that suffer from Parkinson’s disease have the opportunity to control their involuntary actions from a handheld device after only one procedure.
The DBS brain pacemaker is efficient in the sense of how there is now a functional treatment for controlling the mysterious disease known as Parkinson’s. These pacemaker implants are long lasting, yet some maintenance is required for these experimental procedures. For example, “patients also need to be aware that many post-operative visits for both DBS programming and medication adjustments will be required, most frequently during the first 6 months following implantation. Many medical centers that offer DBS also require monthly visits for the first six months. DBS is removable and reversible.” These implants are essential to the progression of the eradication of Parkinson’s disease, a condition long known to have no foreseeable cure. Essentially, the DBS brain pacemaker has taken one of the first steps towards accomplishing the impossible.