Long-term effect on dystonia after pallidal deep brain stimulation (DBS) in three members of a family with a THAP1 mutation

J Neurol. 2015 Dec;262(12):2739-44. doi: 10.1007/s00415-015-7908-z. Epub 2015 Oct 20.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) is an established treatment in patients with severe dystonia. However, factors predicting outcome are largely unknown and motor improvement in DYT6 patients after DBS has been reported to be poorer as compared to, e.g., DYT1 patients. Here, we report the course of clinical improvement for up to 11 years of pallidal DBS in three male patients belonging to the same family with early-onset generalized or segmental dystonia due to a heterozygous THAP1 gene mutation (DYT6). All patients showed an initial effective response to pallidal DBS with a mean of 56.9 ± 11.7% improvement in the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia motor and 45.5 ± 22.4% in the disability score at 1-year follow-up. The long-term outcome of pallidal DBS was favorable in two patients (39, 67% motor improvement, respectively). Our findings demonstrate that motor improvement is variable and may depend on disease severity, disease duration, and clinical presentation. Overall, our observation supports pallidal DBS as an important treatment option in patients with DYT6 dystonia.

Keywords: DYT6 dystonia; Long-term effects; Pallidal DBS; THAP1 gene mutation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Dystonic Disorders / genetics*
  • Dystonic Disorders / therapy*
  • Globus Pallidus*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • THAP1 protein, human