China-made brain pacemaker controls symptoms of Parkinson's disease

Cai Wenjun
Renji Hospital has successfully implanted the latest generation of domestically-made brain pacemaker to control symptoms of Parkinson's disease and enable regular MRI scans.
Cai Wenjun

Renji Hospital has reported its success in implanting the latest generation of domestically-made brain pacemaker into a local patient to control symptoms of his Parkinson's disease.

The high-end device is able to stop the symptoms and enables the patient to undergo regular magnetic resonance imaging scans, which were banned with the previous generations of such pacemakers.

Brain pacemakers are brain implants, often referred to as neural implants, that connect to a certain region of the brain to treat people with epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, major depression, and other diseases, by electrically stimulating or blocking signals from neurons. The treatment is called deep brain stimulation.

The patient, who is in his 40s, has suffered Parkinson's disease for years. He went to Dr Zhou Hongyu at Renji Hospital for treatment.

"The patient can receive DBS treatment," Zhou said. "Because of his age, we suggested the new generation of device. The traditional device can only be used for 20 years and is likely to be influenced by magnetic field interference. Patients can't undergo MRI scans. The new generation of device has solved this issue, and their expiry date has been extended to 30 years."

"The latest domestic brain pacemaker has achieved many breakthroughs. It can be linked to remotely through a connection with the Internet, for convenient maintenance, MRI scan tolerance, and low cost," Zhou added. "The current research is to make it more intelligent, which means the device will be able to do analysis and evaluation while offering electrical treatment to the brain and provide more individualized and precise treatment."

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