The patent's inventor is Karmarkar, Parag V. (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is becoming an acceptable therapeutic modality in neurosurgical treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain, Parkinson's disease or seizure, and other medical conditions. Other electro-stimulation therapies have also been carried out or proposed using internal stimulation of the sympathetic nerve chain and/or spinal cord, etc.
"One example of a prior art DBS system is the Activa.RTM. system from
"Functional MRI is an imaging modality that can be used to evaluate cardiac, neurological and/or other disorders. It may be desirable to use MRI for patients with implanted stimulation devices and leads. However, currently available lead systems may be unsuitable to use in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment. For example, the devices may not be MRI compatible, i.e., they may contain ferromagnetic materials, which may distort the MRI images. Also, currently available lead/probe/cable systems may be susceptible to unwanted induced RF and/or AC current and/or localized heating of the tissue. For example the Medtronic Activa.RTM. device recommends that MRI imaging be carried out in a 1.5 T magnet without using body coils, i.e., only using head coils for transmission of the RF excitation pulse(s). Also, the problem of unwanted RF deposition may increase as higher magnetic fields, such as 3 T systems, become more common for MRI imaging (the RF pulses having shorter wavelengths).
"It is believed that the clinical outcome of certain medical procedures, particularly those using DBS, may depend on the precise location of the electrodes that are in contact with the tissue of interest. For example, presently, to treat Parkinson's tremor, the DBS probes are placed in neural tissue with the electrodes transmitting a signal to the thalamus region of the brain. However, it has been reported that in about 30% of the patients implanted with these devices, the clinical efficacy of the device/procedure is less than optimum. This may be attributed to the inaccurate/imprecise placement of the lead/probe/electrode with respect to the cranial or neural tissue.
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