Deep Brain Stimulation
Julie G. Pilitsis, Leo Verhagen Metman, John R. Toleikis, Lindsay E. Hughes, Sepehr B. Sani, and Roy A. E. Bakay
Although nucleus ventralis intermedius stimulation has been shown to be safe and efficacious in the treatment of essential tremor, there is a subset of patients who eventually lose benefit from their stimulation. Proposed causes for this phenomenon include tolerance, disease progression, and suboptimal location. The goal of this study was to assess the factors that may lead to both stimulation failure, defined as loss of meaningful tremor relief, and less satisfactory outcomes, defined as leads requiring voltages > 3.6 V for effective tremor control.
The authors present their clinical outcomes from 31 leads in 27 patients who had effective tremor control for > 1 year following nucleus ventralis intermedius stimulation. All patients postoperatively had a mean decrease in both the writing and drawing subscales of the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin Tremor Rating Scale (p < 0.001).
After a mean follow-up of 40 months, 22 patients continued to have tremor control with stimulation. Four patients eventually lost efficacy of their stimulation at a mean of 39 months. There was no difference in age, duration of disease, or disease severity between the groups. Examination of perioperative factors revealed that suboptimal anteroposterior positioning as evidenced on intraoperative fluoroscopy occurred significantly more frequently in patients with stimulation failure (p = 0.018). In patients with less satisfactory outcomes, no difference was seen between group demographics. Fluoroscopy again revealed suboptimal positioning more frequently in these patients (p = 0.005).
This study provides further evidence that suboptimal lead position in combination with disease progression or tolerance may result in less satisfactory long-term outcomes.
Sepehr Sani, Kirk Jobe, Adam Smith, Jeffrey H. Kordower, and Roy A. E. Bakay
Given the success of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in a variety of applications (for example, Parkinson disease and essential tremor), other indications for which there is currently little effective therapy are being evaluated for clinical use of DBS. Obesity may be one such indication. Studies of the control of feeding and appetite by neurosurgical lesioning have been completed previously. This study was conducted to test the authors' hypothesis that continuous bilateral stimulatory inhibition of the rat lateral hypothalamic nucleus (LH) would lead to significant and sustained decrease in food intake and subsequent weight loss.
Sixteen Sprague–Dawley rats were maintained on a high-fat diet. Daily food intake and weight gain were measured for 7 days, at which time the animals underwent stereotactic placement of 0.25-mm-diameter bipolar stimulating electrodes bilaterally in the LH. On postoperative Day 7, eight animals began to receive continuous stimulation of the LH. The remaining eight animals were left unstimulated as the control group. Individual animal weight, food intake, and water intake were monitored daily and continuously throughout the experiment until postoperative Day 24.
There was a decreased rate of weight gain after surgery in all animals, but the unstimulated group recovered and resumed a linear weight gain curve. The stimulated group, however, failed to show weight gain and remained below the mean baseline for body mass. There was a significant weight loss between the stimulated and unstimulated groups. On postoperative Day 24, compared with the day of surgery (Day 0), the unstimulated group had a mean weight gain of 13.8%, whereas the stimulated group had a 2.3% weight loss on average (p = 0.001), yielding a 16.1% weight difference between the two groups.
Bilateral electrical stimulatory inhibition of the LH is effective in causing significant and sustained weight loss in rats.