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Neuromodulation ; 24(2): 331-336, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917754


OBJECTIVES: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a well-established therapy for the management of patients with advanced Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. Patients implanted with DBS require life-long management of the medical device as well as medications. Patients are often challenged to frequently visit the specialized DBS centers and such challenges are aggravated depending on geography, socioeconomic factors, and support systems. We discuss the need for digital health solutions to overcome these barriers to better and safely take care of patients, especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A review of the literature was conducted for technology and logistics necessary in forming a digital health program. RESULTS: Digital health encounters can take place in both a synchronous and asynchronous manner. Factors involving patients include cognitive capacity, physical safety, physical capacity, connectivity, and technological security. Physician factors include examining the patient, system diagnostics, and adjusting stimulation or medications. Technology is focused on bridging the gap between patient and physician through integrating the DBS lead, implantable pulse generator (IPG), programmer, novel devices/applications to grade motor function, and teleconference modalities. CONCLUSIONS: For patients with Parkinson's disease, digital health has the potential to drastically change the landscape after DBS surgery. Furthermore, technology is fundamental in connectivity, diagnostic evaluation, and security in order to create stable and useful patient-focused care.

COVID-19 , Deep Brain Stimulation/methods , Pandemics , Parkinson Disease/therapy , Telemedicine , Humans
J Parkinsons Dis ; 10(3): 903-910, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116462


Most medical centers are postponing elective procedures and deferring non-urgent clinic visits to conserve hospital resources and prevent spread of COVID-19. The pandemic crisis presents some unique challenges for patients currently being treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS). Movement disorder (Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia), neuropsychiatric disorder (obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, depression), and epilepsy patients can develop varying degrees of symptom worsening from interruption of therapy due to neurostimulator battery reaching end of life, device malfunction or infection. Urgent intervention to maintain or restore stimulation may be required for patients with Parkinson's disease who can develop a rare but potentially life-threatening complication known as DBS-withdrawal syndrome. Similarly, patients with generalized dystonia can develop status dystonicus, patients with obsessive compulsive disorder can become suicidal, and epilepsy patients can experience potentially life-threatening worsening of seizures as a result of therapy cessation. DBS system infection can require urgent, and rarely emergent surgery. Elective interventions including new implantations and initial programming should be postponed. For patients with existing DBS systems, the battery status and electrical integrity interrogation can now be performed using patient programmers, and employed through telemedicine visits or by phone consultations. The decision for replacement of the implantable pulse generator to prevent interruption of DBS therapy should be made on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration battery status and a patient's tolerance to potential therapy disruption. Scheduling of the procedures, however, depends heavily on the hospital system regulations and on triage procedures with respect to safety and resource utilization during the health crisis.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Deep Brain Stimulation/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Parkinson Disease/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Deep Brain Stimulation/methods , Disease Management , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , Humans , Implantable Neurostimulators/standards , Parkinson Disease/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2