Pediatric indications for deep brain stimulation
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- DiFrancesco, M.F., Halpern, C.H., Hurtig, H.H. et al. Childs Nerv Syst (2012) 28: 1701. doi:10.1007/s00381-012-1861-2
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Based on the success of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of adult disorders, it is reasonable to assume that the application of DBS in the pediatric population is an emerging area worthy of study. The purpose of this paper is to outline the current movement disorder indications for DBS in the pediatric population, and to describe areas of investigation, including possible medically refractory psychiatric indications.
We performed a structured review of the English language literature from 1990 to 2011 related to studies of DBS in pediatrics using Medline and PubMed search results.
Twenty-four reports of DBS in the pediatric population were found. Based on published data on the use of DBS for pediatric indications, there is a spectrum of clinical evidence for the use of DBS to treat different disorders. Dystonia, a disease associated with a low rate of remission and significant disability, is routinely treated with DBS and is currently the most promising pediatric application of DBS. We caution the application of DBS to conditions associated with a high remission rate later in adulthood, like obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette’s syndrome. Moreover, epilepsy and obesity are currently being investigated as indications for DBS in the adult population; however, both are associated with significant morbidity in pediatrics.
While currently dystonia is the most promising application of DBS in the pediatric population, multiple conditions currently being investigated in adults also afflict children and adolescents, and thus warrant further research.