Subthalamic nucleus stimulation for primary dystonia and tardive dystonia

Acta Neurochir Suppl. 2007;97(Pt 2):207-14. doi: 10.1007/978-3-211-33081-4_23.


With the renaissance of stereotactic pallidotomy for Parkinson's disease in 1990s, pallidotomy has become increasingly used as an effective treatment for various manifestations of medically refractory dystonia. More recently, deep brain stimulation of globus pallidus internus (GPi) has been replacing pallidotomy. Although GPi DBS has great promise for treating dystonia, there are some disadvantages. We introduce our experiences in subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS for primary dystonia and tardive dystonia in this chapter. We propose that STN DBS has the following advantages over GPi DBS: (1) symptomatic improvement is seen immediately after stimulation, allowing us to quickly select the most suitable stimulation parameters; (2) the stimulation parameters for the STN are lower than those used for the GPi, resulting in longer battery life; and (3) STN DBS results in better symptomatic control than GPi DBS in dystonia patients when our STN data is compared to that obtained by others with using the GPi as the target. We suggest that STN DBS may be the most appropriate surgical technique for dystonia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Akathisia, Drug-Induced / pathology
  • Akathisia, Drug-Induced / therapy*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Dystonic Disorders / pathology
  • Dystonic Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiopathology
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / radiation effects*