[Treatment of early-onset generalized dystonia by chronic bilateral stimulation of the internal globus pallidus. Apropos of a case]

Neurochirurgie. 1999 May;45(2):139-44.
[Article in French]


Dystonia musculorum deformans is an inherited severe disease, with a wide clinical polymorphism. The most severe clinical forms with early onset carry a high risk of life-threatening complications. In the absence of any efficient medical treatment, bilateral pallidotomy has previously been reported to be of value in the management of this disease. We report the first clinical case of a severe early-onset generalized dystonia dramatically improved by a bilateral stimulation of the internal globus pallidus. In November 1996, we proposed this neurosurgical procedure for a 8-year-old girl, who had suffered since the age of 3 from severe generalized dystonia, and who progressively became totally dependent and bedridden. She had been under sedation and permanent controlled respiratory assistance for the last two months. The etiology of the disease remained unknown (the DYT1 mutation was absent). Under general anesthesia, we bilaterally implanted a four-contacts electrode in the internal globus pallidus, using the Leksell's stereotactic frame and a 1.5 tesla MRI control. A dramatic improvement was noted 6 weeks later and led us to connect the two electrodes to neurostimulators inserted under the abdominal skin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Dystonia Musculorum Deformans / epidemiology
  • Dystonia Musculorum Deformans / physiopathology
  • Dystonia Musculorum Deformans / therapy*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy* / instrumentation
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy* / methods
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Stereotaxic Techniques