DBS Technology

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) uses a surgically implanted medical device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, to deliver mild electrical pulses to precisely targeted areas of the brain. DBS therapy was first approved in Europe in 1995 and in the United States in 1997. The therapy is currently licensed in Canada and approved in other regions, including the European Union and the United States, for the treatment of the disabling symptoms of essential tremor, advanced Parkinson's disease and chronic intractable primary dystonia, for which approval in the United States is under a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE)1 . In Europe, Canada, Australia and Taiwan, DBS therapy is approved for the treatment of refractory epilepsy. The therapy is also approved for the treatment of severe, treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder in the European Union, Australia and in the United States under an HDE2 . More than 100,000 people worldwide have received DBS therapy.

While DBS has been an effective treatment for movement disorders for more than 15 years, it was only recently that this approach was first applied to Alzheimer’s. Dr. Andres Lozano, a neurosurgeon at University of Toronto and Scientific Founder of Functional Neuromodulation, originated the concept of treating memory disorders using deep brain stimulation (DBS) while treating a patient suffering from morbid obesity. In this patient, DBS stimulation of the hypothalamus and fornix was associated with an unexpected observed improvement in the patient’s memory — Annals of Neurology in 2008.


  1. Humanitarian Device in the U.S.: The effectiveness of this device for the treatment of dystonia has not been demonstrated.
  2. Humanitarian Device in the U.S.: The effectiveness of this device for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder has not been demonstrated.

CAUTION — Investigational device. Limited by Federal law to investigational use.

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