Deep brain stimulation in children with dystonia: experience from a tertiary care center

Pediatr Neurosurg. 2012;48(3):146-51. doi: 10.1159/000345830. Epub 2012 Dec 29.


Objective: To investigate the efficacy and safety of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) in children with dystonia.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of patients (≤21 years) with dystonia who underwent GPi DBS. Outcome measures were assessed by the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating (BFMDR) movement and disability scales pre- and post-DBS.

Results: Eight patients underwent DBS; mean age of onset was 7.5 ± 4.8 years (7 were male). Mean age at DBS was 14.1 ± 4.6 years. Etiology of dystonia was primary in 6 patients and secondary in 2. There was significant improvement of BFMDR movement as well as BFMDR disability scales in 6 patients with primary dystonia with modest improvement in those scales in 2 patients with secondary dystonia. Hardware-related problems were observed in 2 and infection was noted in 1.

Conclusions: GPi DBS is an effective and safe therapy in pediatric patients with primary as well as selected cases of secondary dystonia.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Dystonic Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Dystonic Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Treatment Outcome