Vol. 3 No. 6 (2023)
Health Technology Reviews

Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Programs in Canada

Published June 13, 2023

Key Messages

  • Deep brain stimulation involves the surgical insertion of electrodes to stimulate targeted areas of the brain. It is recommended to help control movement-related symptoms of Parkinson disease with certain indications and contraindications to consider.
  • This rapid Environmental Scan describes the landscape of deep brain stimulation surgery across Canada and identifies conditions other than Parkinson disease that can benefit from the therapy. It also provides an overview of cost-effectiveness studies on deep brain stimulation for Parkinson disease.
  • Emerging indications for deep brain stimulation include refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder, refractory epilepsy, treatment-resistant Tourette syndrome, certain types of pain, refractory major depressive disorder, tardive dyskinesia, and essential tremor.
  • In Canada, there are deep brain stimulation surgery programs in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The number of qualified neurosurgeons for deep brain stimulation surgery ranges from 1 to 5 (at least) across jurisdictions.
  • Overall, deep brain stimulation is considered cost-effective for people living with advanced Parkinson disease. The risk of developing Parkinson disease increases with age, with onset typically occurring in late adulthood. The number of people eligible for deep brain stimulation in Canada is expected to increase with the aging population and emerging indications. Information related to existing surgery programs can help support capacity planning for deep brain stimulation surgery in Canada.