dbs-head3September 12, 2013 | Tonight, UCSF neurosurgeon, Dr. Philip Starr spoke to a packed room at the San Francisco DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) Group meeting at UCSF. The topic was “New Developments in Parkinson’s Disease.” Dr. Starr gave an informative, and very transparent presentation about the subject of DBS. He showed a video clip of one of his best patients, and included a clip of one of his less successful patients. His honest approach in the discussion of the sugery included the selection process of good and bad candidates for DBS, and possible outcomes for the surgery. He reviewed how his neurology team decides when to do DBS, noting that although they have a liberal view of timing for it, they look for the onset of significant disability in the patient. One of his nurses, Monica Volz, RN, MS who cares for DBS patients through the surgery process attended the presentation as well as Donna Gow, Medtronic Therapy Representative.

Medtronic’s Activa PC+S
He touched on his newer surgery techniques versus traditional methods and gave us a little inside peak of what is coming down the pike in stimulation technology, including Medtronic’s device, called the Activa PC+S deep brain stimulation system, that will collect brain signals that researchers can use to study neurological and psychological disorders and learn how to adapt technology to best treat them. The Medtronic device could help researchers better understand and treat diseases like Parkinson’s. It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for commercial use in the United States, and will be made available to physicians for investigational use only at this time.  http://www.startribune.com/business/218666581.html

Boston Scientific’s Vercise DBS System
Dr. Starr is the co-principal investigator of a clinical trial for Boston Scientific’s Vercise DBS System which was just introduced in the US a few months ago. It is a neurostimulation device that allows physicians to adjust the current flow in fine increments based on patient needs.

In a sweet moment of the evening, one of the guests asked, “How do I find a good movement disorder specialist?” and he said, “Right here.” Everyone had a chuckle, but then he went on to also mention the excellent staff at Stanford, Kaiser, and the Parkinson’s Institute. Very inclusive of him and very true. We are lucky to have such a high-caliber group of PD medical professionals in our neighborhood! Great presentation, Dr. Starr!

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