Background: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is highly successful in treating Parkinson's disease (PD), dystonia, and essential tremor (ET). Until recently implantable neurostimulators were nonrechargeable, battery-driven devices, with a lifetime of about 3-5 years. This relatively short duration causes problems for patients (e.g. programming and device-use limitations, unpredictable expiration, surgeries to replace depleted batteries). Additionally, these batteries (relatively large with considerable weight) may cause discomfort. To overcome these issues, the first rechargeable DBS device was introduced: smaller, lighter and intended to function for 9 years.
Methods: Of 35 patients implanted with the rechargeable device, 21 (including 8 PD, 10 dystonia, 2 ET) were followed before and 3 months after surgery and completed a systematic survey of satisfaction with the rechargeable device.
Results: Overall patient satisfaction was high (83.3 ± 18.3). Dystonia patients tended to have lower satisfaction values for fit and comfort of the system than PD patients. Age was significantly negatively correlated with satisfaction regarding process of battery recharging.
Conclusions: Dystonia patients (generally high-energy consumption, severe problems at the DBS device end-of-life) are good, reliable candidates for a rechargeable DBS system. In PD, younger patients, without signs of dementia and good technical understanding, might have highest benefit.
Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.