Comparison of the Battery Life of Nonrechargeable Generators for Deep Brain Stimulation

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Nonrechargeable deep brain stimulation (DBS) generators must be replaced when the battery capacity is exhausted. Battery life depends on many factors and differs between generator models. A new nonrechargeable generator model replaced the previous model in 2008. Our clinical impression is that the earlier model had a longer battery life than the new one. We conducted this study to substantiate this.


We determined the battery life of every DBS generator that had been implanted between 2005 and 2012 in our department for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, and compared the battery lives of the both devices. We calculated the current used by estimating the total electrical energy delivered (TEED) based on the stimulation parameters in use one year after electrode implantation.


One hundred ninety-two patients were included in the study; 105 with the old and 86 with the new model generators. The mean battery life in the older model was significantly longer (5.44 ± 0.20 years) than that in the new model (4.44 ± 0.17 years) (p = 0.023). The mean TEED without impedance was 219.9 ± 121.5 mW * Ω in the older model and 145.1 ± 72.7 mW * Ω in the new one, which indicated significantly lower stimulation parameters in the new model (p = 0.00038).


The battery life of the new model was significantly shorter than that of the previous model. A lower battery capacity is the most likely reason, since current consumption was similar in both groups.

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