Deep Brain Stimulation for Dystonia

Deep brain stimulation refers to implanting electrodes into specific areas of the brain and hooking the electrodes up to pacemaker-­like devices in order to send signals into the brain to jam the abnormal firing of brain cells, which are part of the network causing the abnormal movements.  Deep brain s,mula,on is used in a variety of movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and Tourette’s syndrome and may be used in other neurologic disorders including chronic pain syndromes and psychiatric disorders such as refractory depression.

There is a great deal of variability in the surgical technique to perform electrode implantation for deep brain stimulation. Different surgical teams approach the procedure differently due to their technical expertise and the equipment they have available. The specifics of the surgical procedure may also vary, depending on the nature and severity of the pa9ent’s symptoms. With some patients undergoing surgery under a general anesthesia and others having surgery while awake. In some centers, surgery may be performed without electrophysiological recordings and simply with MRI guidance; where in other centers, electrophysiologic microelectric cording is performed and the surgery is performed outside of an MRI scanner in a standard operating room.