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Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation Advancements

FDA Advises Earlier Consideration of DBS for Parkinson’s disease

By Karen Hales, Neurology Solutions Contributing Writer

Dr. Robert Izor of Neurology Solutions Movement Disorders Center in Austin joined KXAN in the studio last week to talk about the latest advancements in Medtronic deep brain stimulation, a surgical treatment for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), and disorders such as dystonia and essential tremor. Similar to a pacemaker, a DBS implant stimulates areas of the brain causing neurological and motor symptoms.

Dr. Izor’s practice directs care and manages programming for approximately 250 DBS patients. For the past 12 years, Dr. Izor has worked with Anant Patel, MD, a neurosurgeon affiliated with St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, to plan the DBS implantation of more than 200 people with PD and other movement disorders. This spring, Medtronic named Neurology Solutions the largest private DBS implantation clinic in Texas and the fourth-largest such clinic in the country.

Advancements in Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation Programming

Medtronic Inc. developed the first FDA-approved DBS device and is at the forefront of new programming technologies that allow shaping of current fields to stimulate deeper areas of the brain while alleviating stimulation-induced side effects. Some 145,000 individuals have undergone Medtronic DBS implant surgery worldwide.

When to Consider Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

While a cure for Parkinson’s disease has not yet been discovered, new medications and evolving surgical techniques such as DBS have given people with PD far greater mobility and quality of life than any generation before.

The FDA recently approved Medtronic deep brain stimulation for use in people with Parkinson’s disease of at least four-years duration and with recent onset of motor complications.

Patients generally see a dramatic improvement in their symptoms, even in earlier stages of disease. A board certified neurologist specializing in movement disorders, Dr. Izor advises starting conversations about treatments such as DBS with your doctor earlier, as patients who undergo DBS are able to maintain a higher quality of life for a longer period.

Who is a Candidate for DBS?

DBS surgery generally is considered when quality of life is no longer acceptable and medication no longer addresses symptoms effectively.  An ideal surgical candidate for DBS surgery is in otherwise good health and without progressive memory decline; a patient with tremor or dyskinesia who fluctuates between “on” and “off” medication states; is four years post-diagnosis and has experienced at least four months of motor complications. DBS surgery is performed in a three-stage process and requires ongoing followup and management.

About Neurology Solutions

Dr. Izor is a fellowship-trained movement disorders specialist who practices at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center. Since 2004, Dr. Izor participates in DBS implant surgeries and programming of over 200 DBS patients in the Austin area.

A comprehensive movement disorders center, Neurology Solutions offers therapeutic drug and surgical therapies, nutritional counseling, supplement therapies and an on-site physical therapy center providing physical therapy/sports medicine, occupational therapy, and cognitive and speech therapy for movement disorders. Neurology Solutions sponsors a monthly DBS Learning & Support Group in Austin with the Capital Area Parkinson’s Society.


Neurology Solutions is accepting new patients seeking a specialist in managing Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, essential tremor and age-related movement disorders.
Neurology Solutions is located at 12345 N. Lamar, Suite 260. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call 512-865-6310.

Stay informed by frequenting Neurology Solutions’ blog, or join Neurology Solutions Movement Disorders Center’s email list to stay up to date on the latest in treatments and how to manage stress, stay healthy and maintain quality of life while living with dystonia, PD and other movement disorders.

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