Thalamic deep brain stimulation in the treatment of essential tremor: a long-term follow-up

Br J Neurosurg. 2007 Oct;21(5):504-9. doi: 10.1080/02688690701552278.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus ventralis intermedius thalami (Vim) in the treatment of essential tremor (ET) is well documented concerning the acute effects. Reports of the long-term effects are, however, few and the aim of the present study was to analyse the long-term efficacy of this treatment. Nineteen patients operated with unilateral Vim-DBS were evaluated with the Essential Tremor Rating Scale (ETRS) before surgery, and after a mean time of 1 and 7 years after surgery. The ETRS score for tremor of the contralateral hand was reduced from 6.8 at baseline to 1.2 and 2.7, respectively, on stimulation at follow-up. For hand function (item 11 - 14) the score was reduced from 12.7 to 4.1 and 8.2, respectively. Vim-DBS is an efficient treatment for ET, also after many years of treatment. There is, however, a decreasing effect over time, most noticeable concerning tremor of action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Essential Tremor / diagnosis
  • Essential Tremor / surgery
  • Essential Tremor / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thalamus*
  • Treatment Outcome