US-based Boston Scientific has secured CE Mark for the Vercise Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) System to treat tremors, including the most common form of this movement disorder known as essential tremor (ET).
Tremor is characterised by involuntary and rhythmic shaking, while it is usually associated with difficulty in writing or holding and controlling items.
The new Vercise DBS system features a rechargeable battery that can last up to 25 years and is designed to provide precise neural targeting, enabling physicians to customise therapy for patients with ET.
According to the company, one of the first commercial implantations of the system for ET was carried out at the University Hospital Cologne, by a team of physicians, led by Dr Veerle Visser Vandewalle, head of the Department of Stereotaxy and Functional Neurosurgery, and Dr Lars Timmermann, neurologist and professor of Neurological Movement Disorders.
Dr Vandewalle said: "Essential tremor can be very debilitating for patients in their day-to-day activities such as writing and eating.
"The Vercise DBS System provides advanced tremor care through precise neural targeting that is designed to manage ET symptoms effectively and improve patient quality of life."
Dr Timmermann said: "The Vercise DBS system features multiple independent current control, which gives clinicians the ability to control stimulation precisely for a neural target to help minimize unwanted side effects."
According to experts, ET may be as much as 20 times more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease and it can be a progressive disorder, typically starting on one side of the body, and then gradually affecting both sides.
ET is most commonly seen in older adults, however the onset of symptoms may occur at any age and the exact cause for this disorder is unknown.
It is found to be mostly hereditary, where children of a parent who has ET have a 50% chance of inheriting the condition.
Boston Scientific president of Neuromodulation Maulik Nanavaty said: "With the launch of the Vercise DBS System for the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease in 2012, for dystonia in 2013, and now for tremor, Boston Scientific continues to demonstrate its commitment to provide more access to DBS therapy to more patients.
"We believe this advanced technology can play a critical role in improving the lives of patients who suffer from these devastating conditions."