Unilateral pallidal stimulation in cervical dystonia

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 1999;72(2-4):248-52. doi: 10.1159/000029736.


Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis) is a focal dystonia of the cervical region. Various treatment modalities have been performed with variable success rates. We present a 42-year-old woman complaining of involuntary head rotation for the last 3 years. Different medical treatments had been used for 3 years. Botulinum toxin injections resulted in temporary and moderate improvement for periods of 3-4 months. Pallidal stimulation was performed using a quadripolar electrode and a battery-operated programmable pulse generator. We conclude that a unilateral pallidal lesion or stimulation is an effective method of treatment in focal dystonia. The target must be the pallidum contralateral to the contracted sternocloidomastoid muscle. Deep brain stimulation is superior to lesioning because of the capability of manipulating the stimulation parameters which can modify the pallidotomy effect.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Contracture / complications*
  • Cough / etiology
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative
  • Muscular Atrophy / complications*
  • Neck Muscles / pathology*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Stereotaxic Techniques*
  • Torticollis / drug therapy
  • Torticollis / etiology
  • Torticollis / physiopathology
  • Torticollis / rehabilitation
  • Torticollis / therapy*