Influence of age, gender and severity of tremor on outcome after thalamic and subthalamic DBS for essential tremor

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2011 Sep;17(8):617-20. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2011.05.014. Epub 2011 Jun 14.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established treatment for essential tremor (ET). The nucleus ventralis intermedius thalami (Vim) is the target of choice, but promising results have been presented regarding DBS in the posterior subthalamic area (PSA). The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible influence of gender, age and severity of disease on the outcome of these procedures. Sixty eight patients (34 Vim, 34 PSA) with ET were included in this non-randomised study. Evaluation using the Essential Tremor Rating Scale (ETRS) was performed before, and one year after surgery concerning PSA DBS, and at a mean of 28 ± 24 months concerning Vim DBS. Items 5/6 and 11-14 (hand tremor and hand function) were selected for analysis of tremor outcome. The efficacy of DBS on essential tremor was not related to age or gender. Nor was it associated with the severity of tremor when the percentual reduction of tremor on stimulation was taken into account. However, patients with a more severe tremor at baseline had a higher degree of residual tremor on stimulation. Tremor in the treated hand and hand function were improved with 70% in the Vim group and 89% in the PSA group.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation* / methods
  • Essential Tremor / physiopathology
  • Essential Tremor / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Subthalamus* / physiology
  • Thalamus* / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome