Healthcare Industry News:  Parkinson’s disease 

Devices Neurology

 News Release - April 16, 2008

Medtronic Activa(R) Deep Brain Stimulation Patient Referral Advisor Software Launched in United States

New Software Tool Helps Neurologists Identify Parkinson's Disease Patients Who Could Benefit from Referral for DBS Treatment

MINNEAPOLIS--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Medtronic (NYSE:MDT ) announced today the U.S. launch of its new Activa® DBS Patient Referral Advisor software, designed to help neurologists identify patients with Parkinson’s disease who could potentially benefit from a referral to a DBS center or implanter for evaluation for deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy.

First launched in Europe in 2007, the Activa DBS Patient Referral Advisor software provides physicians with an easy guide to help identify those patients most appropriate for a referral to a DBS center or implanter for evaluation for DBS. The software was designed with the input of nine expert neurologists who rated more than 900 hypothetical patient profiles, assigning each profile an appropriateness rating for DBS referral. The software is programmed to generate an appropriateness score for any given patient based upon this database of expert opinion.

Parkinson’s disease is a very complex condition. Even though a growing body of scientific literature is available to guide patient selection for DBS, there are many factors that come into play, making it difficult in some cases for clinicians to determine who is an appropriate candidate for DBS,” said Rajesh Pahwa, M.D. at the University of Kansas Medical Center. “The Activa DBS Patient Referral Advisor gives clinicians an opportunity to leverage other expert opinion when they are unsure about a particular patient.”

The Activa DBS Patient Referral Advisor software is available on the Internet or can be loaded on clinicians’ computers where it is easily accessible. Neurologists enter data on a specific patient, such as age, duration of the disease, severity of symptoms, and intellectual impairment, and the software calculates an appropriateness-for-referral recommendation based on expert opinion of leading neurologists. Results can then be shown and discussed with the individual patient who can then be referred to a DBS center or implanter for evaluation.

“We’re pleased to offer this new software that can help neurologists identify patients who should be aware of another therapy option with deep brain stimulation,” said Tim DeLapp, vice president of Global Movement Disorders for the Neuromodulation business at Medtronic. “The benefits of deep brain stimulation for patients with Parkinson’s disease is well known. In addition to helping define potential candidates, the Activa DBS Patient Referral Advisor Software arms neurologists with a recommendation that is based on expert opinions and determined by an extensive list of individual factors for a patient.”

There are more than one million patients with Parkinson’s disease in the United States. Currently patients receive DBS treatment on average 14 years after the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. At that stage, the severity of the disease has already significantly impaired social and professional activities. The Patient Referral Advisor Software assists general neurologists in identifying patients to be referred for evaluation for DBS before the disease progression limits the potential benefits.

About Medtronic

Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 27, 2007. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

Source: Medtronic

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