Thalamic stimulation and proximal tremor. A specific target in the nucleus ventrointermedius thalami

Arch Neurol. 1993 May;50(5):498-500. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1993.00540050050014.


The severe proximal cerebellar postural tremor (also called action or intention or hyperkinetic tremor) is barely influenced by thalamotomy or stimulation of the thalamus at the classic target in the lower part of the nucleus ventrointermedius thalami (VIM). In four patients with a severe postural distal and proximal tremor, an electrode fitted with four points of contact was introduced within the entire height of the VIM. In each patient, stimulation of the lower part of the VIM was most effective in the distal component of the tremor, whereas its proximal component was specifically reduced by stimulation of its upper part. These results indicate that (1) proximal postural tremors can be as much affected by stimulation of the VIM as distal tremors, (2) there is a somatotopy in the VIM that is similar to that in the nucleus ventralis posterolateralis thalami, and (3) it is possible with this technique to adjust the VIM stimulation site so as to obtain the maximum efficacy according to the locale of the tremor.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arm / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thalamic Nuclei / pathology
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiopathology*
  • Tremor / pathology
  • Tremor / therapy*