Asleep deep brain stimulation can relieve fear and anxiety surrounding surgery


Patients can now undergo asleep deep brain stimulation, under general anaesthesia, due to a revolutionary new platform called the ClearPoint Neuro Intervention System (MRI Interventions) that allows neurosurgeons to conduct the minimally invasive surgery inside an MRI scanner.

Brain surgery can be a disturbing prospect for anyone, but for patients already struggling with certain debilitating and progressive diseases like Parkinson’s disease and dystonia, remaining awake throughout the procedure is an added source of fear and anxiety, a press release from MRI Interventions states.

Deep brain stimulation is an important option for patients with Parkinson’s disease or dystonia whose symptoms are not adequately controlled by medication. It may control life-disrupting symptoms of such movement disorders. During traditional “awake deep brain stimulation,” patients go off their medications and, although given a sedative, remain conscious during the lengthy electrode-placement surgery in order to provide feedback that can help the surgeon determine the best location for the electrodes.

“We are pleased to enable this alternative for patients,” says Kimble Jenkins, CEO of MRI Interventions. “With the ClearPoint System, the neurosurgeon uses live MRI imaging to guide placement of the electrodes at the target location in the brain, and the patient gets to sleep through the procedure.”

Jenkins explains that ClearPoint was designed to provide a new, minimally invasive approach to this and other neurological surgeries. “We wanted to facilitate solutions for patients for whom we believe current surgical techniques can be improved. We believe the ClearPoint System helps us realise this goal by providing surgeons a real-time, high-resolution view of the brain and interventional instruments throughout a procedure. Through this detailed intra-procedural visualisation, the ClearPoint System allows surgeons to target areas the size of a single sesame seed nearly anywhere in the brain.”