Review Article


, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 26-36

First online:

The treatment of movement disorders by deep brain stimulation

  • Hong YuAffiliated withDepartment of Neurological Surgery, Vanderbilt University
  • , Joseph S. NeimatAffiliated withDepartment of Neurological Surgery, Vanderbilt University Email author 


It has been understood, for some time, that modulation of deep brain nuclei within the basal ganglia and thalamus can have a therapeutic effect in patients with movement disorders. Because of its reversibility and adjustability, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has largely come to replace traditional ablation procedures. The clinical effects of DBS vary, depending both on the target being stimulated and on the parameters of stimulation. Both aspects are currently the subject of substantial research and discovery. The most common targets for DBS treatment include the subthalamic nucleus for the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease, the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus for the treatment of medically refractory essential tremor, and the globus pallidus interna for the treatment of both cervical and generalized dystonias and Parkinson’s disease. We review the current indications, targets, outcomes, and general procedure of DBS for essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, and dystonia.

Key Words

Movement disorders Parkinson’s disease essential tremor dystonia deep brain stimulation DBS