, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 320-330

Treatment of dystonia with deep brain stimulation

Summary

Pallidal deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established treatment option for medically refractive dystonia. The mechanism by which globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) DBS improves dystonia is still unclear. Primary generalized dystonia usually responds well to this therapy, as recently confirmed in two well-designed, double-blind, controlled trials; however, predictors of outcome within this population are not well known. The role of GPi DBS in idiopathic cervical dystonia resistant to treatment with botulinum toxin, in tardive dystonia, and in some types of secondary dystonia are emerging as populations of patients who may also benefit, but outcomes are not well documented. Serious complications from this therapy are rare. Future research will likely continue to address the most appropriate programming settings for various populations of dystonia, the mechanism by which DBS affects dystonia, and the possibility of alternative brain targets that might have less associated side effects or greater efficacy than the GPi.