Patient Information

Parkinson's disease (PD)

PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, affecting approximately 1% of the population over 60.

Levodopa is the standard medical therapy, but increasingly large doses are needed as the disease progresses, causing unpleasant side effects. 36% of late-stage patients are not adequately managed by medication.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

DBS is now established as the standard late-stage surgical treatment for  PD.

It involves routing electrodes to targets in the brain through which a small electrical current is supplied from an implanted stimulator. A high frequency signal is applied, which alters the activity of neural circuits to suppress the tremor which is characteristic of PD.

Despite its excellent efficacy, only 4.5% of the total PD population ultimately receive DBS mainly due to the lack of qualified neurosurgeons.

Picostim Availability

Picostim does not yet have regulatory approval and is only available to patients as part of an upcoming UK clinical trial. Selection for this trial is not carried out by Bioinduction,  this is done by the trial Principal Investigator.

Patient Benefits

Picostim transforms the patient experience:

Conventional devices are implanted in the soft tissues of the chest or hip, typically within 2cm of the surface of the skin to allow recharging via magnetic induction.

Changes in body weight can either make the device difficult to recharge or reveal a visible outline and 15-30% of patients experience pain at the implantation site; Picostim is recessed into the bone and secured to the skull, eliminating potential pain and cosmetic implications.

Skull-mounting obviates the need for tunnelling of leads so the risk of lead breakage in the highly mobile neck region is eliminated. With conventional systems, some patients develop a ‘twiddling’ habit which has been known to break the lead wires.

Less time in the operating room and a one-stage procedure means there is less risk of anaesthetic complications. The procedure is performed through a single incision, which means that the risk of infection is also reduced.

With its simpler design and not needing electrode leads tunneled through the neck, we anticipate less revision surgery will be required.

Picostim is recharged via a compact external inductive coil fitted into a cap. At typical settings for PD, a recharge is required once per week for an hour. This compares to three to four hours for conventional systems.