Medtronic acquires Image-Guided Neurologics to improve deep brain stimulation surgery

4 September 2005

Minneapolis, USA. Medtronic has acquired Image-Guided Neurologics (IGN) of Melbourne, Florida, a privately held company that specialises in precision navigation and delivery technologies for brain surgery. The IGN product line, which includes the NexFrame disposable, “frameless” stereotactic head frame, strengthens Medtronic’s position in deep brain stimulation (DBS) by offering instruments that simplify the procedure for surgeons and improve patient comfort during surgery.

The traditional surgical approach to implanting the leads of Medtronic’s Activa® Therapy neurostimulation system for a DBS procedure involves attaching a stereotactic head frame to the patient. The metal frame allows surgeons to accurately guide the leads to a specific location within the brain, but does not allow patient mobility during a procedure that can last several hours. In contrast, the NexFrame replaces the heavy frame with a small, disposable guidance device that is more comfortable, less stressful on the neck and allows the patient to move and change positions during surgery.

The NexFrame is used in conjunction with image-guided surgery systems that provide surgeons with real-time tracking and verification of the DBS lead’s trajectory and location within the brain. Use of frameless technology can reduce operating time by as much as 90 minutes. Because the frame is disposable, which eliminates the need to sterilize and reset the traditional frame system, surgeons have the opportunity to perform multiple operations each day.

“We know that many neurosurgeons are more comfortable performing image-guided surgical procedures than using traditional stereotactic head frames,” said Todd Langevin, vice president and general manager, global movement disorders, Medtronic Neurological. “We believe the seamless integration of IGN technology with our proven Activa Therapy will increase the number of surgeons who regularly perform these life-altering procedures, while improving the patient experience.”

Medtronic helped pioneer DBS through the development of its Activa Therapy to treat the three most common movement disorders, Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia. To date, more than 30,000 patients worldwide have received Activa Therapy. The company is exploring other potential applications for DBS to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.

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