Led by Michele Tagliati, MD, director of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Movement Disorders Program, the study identified variables that affect impedance - resistance in circuits that affect intensity and wavelength of electrical current.
Doctors who specialize in programming DBS devices fine-tune voltage, frequency and other parameters for each patient; deviations from these settings may have the potential to alter patient outcomes.
"Deep brain stimulation devices are currently designed to deliver constant, steady voltage, and we believe consistency and reliability are critical in providing therapeutic stimulation.
But we found that we cannot take impedance stability for granted over the long term," said Tagliati
, the senior author of a journal article that reveals the study's findings.
"Doctors with experience in DBS management can easily make adjustments to compensate for these fluctuations, and future devices may do so automatically," he
Tagliati, an expert in device programming, has received speaker honoraria from Medtronic Inc. and consultation fees from St. Jude Medical Inc. (formerly Advanced Neuromodulation Systems), Boston Scientific, AbbVie Inc., Allergan and Impax Laboratories Inc., unrelated to this study.