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Abbott: Tech Knowledge on Neuromodulation

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Tech Knowledge is an online video series about Abbott innovations.

Imagine going from complete independence — where you like, when you like, how you like — to being unable to control your arms to brush your own teeth. It can be crushing, mentally and emotionally.

For many people living with Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor that disruption of their daily lives is a stark reality. Enter neuromodulation and deep brain stimulation where scientists use electrical stimulation to disrupt — or modulate — signals in the body to treat the symptoms of movement disorders.


Lorena meets Brittany, who introduces her to our Infinity DBS system equipped with directional lead technology. The leads allow more precise stimulation to maximize care while reducing unwanted side effects, all within reach via an iOS device. All within reach. For people diagnosed with Parkinson’s and ET, those are words of sweet relief.

*There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET), but there are options available to treat symptoms. The first-line therapy is medication. Surgical treatments are also available. It’s important to discuss with your doctor what’s right for you along with the risks and side effects of each option, such as motor fluctuations or permanent neurological impairment. As with any surgery or therapy, deep brain stimulation has risks and complications.

Most side effects of DBS surgery are temporary and correct themselves over time. Some people may experience lasting, stroke-like symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, problems with vision or slurred speech. In the event that the side effects are intolerable or you are not satisfied with the therapy, the DBS system can be turned off or surgically removed. Risks of brain surgery include serious complications such as coma, bleeding inside the brain, paralysis, seizures and infection. Some of these may be fatal.

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