Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of single-target nuclei has produced remarkable functional outcomes in a number of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. While these benefits are well established, DBS efficacy and strategy for unusual, unclassified movement disorder syndromes is less clear. A strategy of dual pallidal and thalamic electrode placement is a rational approach in such cases where there is profound, medically refractory functional impairment. The authors report a series of such cases: midbrain cavernoma hemorrhage with olivary hypertrophy, spinocerebellar ataxia-like disorder of probable genetic origin, Holmes tremor secondary to brainstem stroke, and hemiballismus due to traumatic thalamic hemorrhage, all treated by dual pallidal and thalamic DBS. All patients demonstrated robust benefit from DBS, maintained in long-term follow-up. This series demonstrates the flexibility and efficacy, but also the limitations, of dual thalamo-pallidal stimulation for managing axial and limb symptoms of tremors, dystonia, chorea, and hemiballismus in patients with complex movement disorders.
Tariq Parker, Ashley L. B. Raghu, James J. FitzGerald, Alexander L. Green and Tipu Z. Aziz
Jonathan A. Hyam, Nicholas de Pennington, Carole Joint, Alexander L. Green, Sarah L. F. Owen, Erlick A. C. Pereira and Tipu Z. Aziz
Infection in the context of implant surgery is a dreaded complication, usually necessitating the removal of all affected hardware. Severe dystonia is a debilitating condition that can present as an emergency and can occasionally be life threatening. The authors present 2 cases of severe dystonia in which deep brain stimulation was maintained despite the presence of infection, using ongoing stimulation by externalization of electrode wires and an extracorporeal pulse generator. This allowed the infection to clear and wounds to heal while maintaining stimulation. This strategy is similar to that used in the management of infected cardiac pacemakers. The authors suggest that this prolonged extracorporeal stimulation should be considered by neurosurgeons in the face of this difficult clinical situation.