Technology of deep brain stimulation: current status and future directions

Joachim K. Krauss, Nir Lipsman, Tipu Aziz, Alexandre Boutet, Peter Brown, Jin Woo Chang, Benjamin Davidson, Warren M. Grill, Marwan I. Hariz, Andreas Horn, Michael Schulder, Antonios Mammis, Peter A. Tass, Jens Volkmann, Andres M. Lozano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure that allows targeted circuit-based neuromodulation. DBS is a standard of care in Parkinson disease, essential tremor and dystonia, and is also under active investigation for other conditions linked to pathological circuitry, including major depressive disorder and Alzheimer disease. Modern DBS systems, borrowed from the cardiac field, consist of an intracranial electrode, an extension wire and a pulse generator, and have evolved slowly over the past two decades. Advances in engineering and imaging along with an improved understanding of brain disorders are poised to reshape how DBS is viewed and delivered to patients. Breakthroughs in electrode and battery designs, stimulation paradigms, closed-loop and on-demand stimulation, and sensing technologies are expected to enhance the efficacy and tolerability of DBS. In this Review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the technical development of DBS, from its origins to its future. Understanding the evolution of DBS technology helps put the currently available systems in perspective and allows us to predict the next major technological advances and hurdles in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalNature Reviews Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work on this manuscript was supported by an unconditional grant of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (WSSFN). The working process was coordinated with the Research and Education committees of the WSSFN.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Limited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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