Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 123, Issue 7, pp 791–796 | Cite as

DBS in Tourette syndrome: where are we standing now?

  • Pablo Andrade
  • Veerle Visser-VandewalleEmail author
Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Review Article


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as an established effective and safe treatment option for a small subset of patients with severe Tourette syndrome (TS) refractory to psychological and pharmacological treatments. Several targets have been implicated in the study of the effects of DBS on TS symptomatology. The targets applied for DBS in TS include the thalamus, the globus pallidus internus, the internal capsule/nucleus accumbens, the globus pallidus externus and the subthalamic nucleus. In the majority of studies there has been a significant clinical benefit on tics. Nevertheless, the best target has not been defined yet. Up until now, only five double blind randomized controlled trials have been carried out worldwide for a total of 32 patients. Thus, the new recommendations for DBS in TS emphasize the importance of standardized recordings of all pre-, intra-, and postoperative data to optimize the registration of patients so that results can be compared. Recent reports have shown that standard continuous DBS for TS patients may not be the most optimal paradigms to pursue. Adaptive stimulation and the use of human–computer interfaces might in the future optimize the results of DBS in TS because of the paroxysmal nature of the disease.


Tourette syndrome Deep brain stimulation Psychiatric surgery DBS 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Stereotactic and Functional NeurosurgeryUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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