Boston Scientific has received CE mark approval for the Vercise deep brain stimulation system for the treatment of tremor, including the most common form of this movement disorder known as essential tremor. Tremor is characterised by involuntary and rhythmic shaking, usually associated with difficulty in an activity such as writing or holding and controlling items.
Experts say essential tremor may be as much as 20 times more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease.The Vercise deep brain stimulation system is the first system designed to offer precise neural targeting, allowing physicians to customise therapy for patients with essential tremor. It also features a rechargeable battery that can last up to 25 years.
One of the first commercial implantations of the Vercise deep brain stimulation system for essential tremor was performed at the University Hospital Cologne, Germany, by a team of physicians, led by Veerle Visser Vandewalle, head of the Department of Stereotaxy and Functional Neurosurgery, and Lars Timmermann, neurologist and professor of Neurological Movement Disorders.
“Essential tremor can be very debilitating for patients in their day-to-day activities such as writing and eating,” says Vandewalle. “The Vercise deep brain stimulation system provides advanced tremor care through precise neural targeting that is designed to manage essential tremor symptoms effectively and improve patient quality of life.”
“The Vercise deep brain stimulation system features multiple independent current control, which gives clinicians the ability to control stimulation precisely for a neural target to help minimise unwanted side effects,” says Timmermann. “The 25 year battery life may also help reduce the frequency of surgical interventions to replace depleted batteries.”
Essential tremor can be a progressive disorder, typically starting on one side of the body, and then gradually affecting both sides. It is most commonly seen in older adults, however the onset of symptoms may occur at any age. The exact cause for essential tremor is unknown, but it is found to be mostly hereditary, where children of a parent who has essential tremor have a 50% chance of inheriting the condition.
“With the launch of the Vercise deep brain stimulation system for the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease in 2012, for dystonia in 2013, and now for tremor, Boston Scientific continues to demonstrate its commitment to provide more access to deep brain stimulation therapy to more patients,” says Maulik Nanavaty, president, Neuromodulation, Boston Scientific. “We believe this advanced technology can play a critical role in improving the lives of patients who suffer from these devastating conditions.”