Surgical considerations for tremor and dystonia

Scott Cooper, Mark Bowes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is among the most effective approaches for the treatment of patients with advanced movement disorders. In patients with essential tremor, stimulation typically targets the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus. Results of several studies have shown that over a follow-up period of 1 to 5 years, the severity of tremor decreases by an average of approximately 50% from baseline. Ongoing research continues to define the optimal stimulation parameters for patients with tremor, including frequency, voltage, and pulse width. In patients with dystonia, DBS typically targets the globus pallidus internus or the subthalamic nucleus. Longterm prospective clinical trials demonstrated reductions in motor severity rating scale scores of approximately 50% to 80% over follow-up periods of 2 to 3 years. Serious adverse events were uncommon, and included lead failures and infections. Appropriate candidates for DBS treatment of dystonia include patients with an unequivocal diagnosis of dystonia and significant disability. Several issues in the use of DBS for movement disorders remain unresolved, including the intensity of appropriate medical management before undergoing DBS, the importance of intraoperative mapping, optimal stimulator programming, and the time course of the beneficial effects of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S40-S43
JournalCleveland Clinic journal of medicine
Issue numberSUPPL.2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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