Behind the Screen: Pseudobulbar Symptoms After Deep Brain Stimulation

  • Florian AmtageEmail author
  • Johann Lambeck
  • Sebastian Rutsch
  • Thomas Prokop
  • Marcus Pinsker
  • Michel Rijntjes
Conference paper
Part of the Acta Neurochirurgica Supplement book series (NEUROCHIRURGICA, volume 117)


Background: Thalamotomy was formerly used to treat different tremor syndromes. Nowadays, deep brain stimulation has become an established technique to treat ­different movement disorders. The combination of these two stereotactic interventions is rare. Clinical Presentation: We present a patient in which a right-sided tremor ­syndrome with an underlying pathology of combined essential tremor and Parkinsonian tremor was successfully treated initially with a left-sided thalamotomy and subsequently with ­bilateral deep brain stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus. Results: Deep brain stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus resulted in hemidystonia, pathological laughing and crying, dysarthria and dysphagia, all due to dislocation of the stimulation electrodes contacting the internal capsule. After discontinuation of the high-frequency stimulation these side-effects disappeared, but were then reactivated by an LCD television in stand-by mode. Conclusion: In this report we discuss the pathophysiology of pseudobulbar symptoms and pathological laughing and crying in context of thalamotomy and dislocated DBS electrodes. Furthermore, we report on the occurrence that magnetic fields in the household have an impact on deep brain stimulation, even if they are in stand-by mode.


Deep brain stimulation Thalamotomy Subthalamic nucleus Pathological laughing and crying Pseudobulbar Parkinson’s disease Television 



Many thanks for helpful comments on the manuscript to Dr. Sandra Dieni.

Conflict of InterestWe declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Amtage
    • 1
    Email author
  • Johann Lambeck
    • 1
  • Sebastian Rutsch
    • 1
  • Thomas Prokop
    • 2
  • Marcus Pinsker
    • 3
    • 4
  • Michel Rijntjes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity Medical Center FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Division of Stereotactic and Functional NeurosurgeryUniversity Medical Center FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of General Neurosurgery, Neurosurgical ClinicUniversity Medical Center FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  4. 4.Klinik für NeurochirurgieHELIOS Klinikum Berlin-BuchBerlinGermany

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