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Shikun Zhan, Fafa Sun, Yixin Pan, Wei Liu, Peng Huang, Chunyan Cao, Jing Zhang, Dianyou Li and Bomin Sun

OBJECTIVE

Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of primary Meige syndrome. However, assessments of its efficacy and safety have been limited to several case reports and small studies.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective study to assess the efficacy and safety of bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation in 15 patients with primary Meige syndrome who responded poorly to medical treatments or botulinum toxin injections. Using the movement and disability subscores of the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale, the authors evaluated the severity of patients’ dystonia and related before surgery and at final follow-up during neurostimulation. The movement scale was assessed based on preoperative and postoperative video documentation by an independent rater who was unaware of each patient’s neurostimulation status. Quality of life was assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form General Health Survey.

RESULTS

The dystonia movement subscores in 14 consecutive patients improved from 19.3 ± 7.6 (mean ± standard deviation) before surgery to 5.5 ± 4.5 at final follow-up (28.5 ± 16.5 months), with a mean improvement of 74% (p < 0.05). The disability subscore improved from 15.6 ± 4.9 before surgery to 6.1 ± 3.5 at final follow-up (p < 0.05). In addition, the postoperative SF-36 scores increased markedly over those at baseline. The authors also found that bilateral stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus immediately improved patient symptoms after stimulation and required lower stimulation parameters than those needed for pallidal deep brain stimulation for primary Meige syndrome. Four adverse events occurred in 3 patients; all of these events resolved without permanent sequelae.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings provide further evidence to support the long-term efficacy and safety of subthalamic nucleus stimulation as an alternative treatment for patients with medically intractable Meige syndrome.

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Yuhan Wang, Chencheng Zhang, Yingying Zhang, Hengfen Gong, Jun Li, Haiyan Jin, Dianyou Li, Dengtang Liu and Bomin Sun

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although antipsychotic medications and electroconvulsive therapy can be used to manage the clinical symptoms of schizophrenia, a substantial portion (10%–30%) of patients do not clinically respond to these treatments or cannot tolerate the side effects. Recently, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a promising safe and effective therapeutic intervention for various psychiatric disorders. Here, the authors explore the utility of DBS of the habenula (HB) in the clinical management of 2 young adult male patients with severe, chronic, and treatment-resistant schizophrenia. After HB DBS surgery, both patients experienced improvements in clinical symptoms during the first 6 months of treatment. However, only 1 patient retained the clinical benefits and reached a favorable outcome at 12-month follow-up. The symptoms of the other patient subsequently worsened and became so profound that he needed to be hospitalized at 10-month follow-up and withdrawn from further study participation. It is tentatively concluded that HB DBS could ultimately be a relatively safe and effective surgical intervention for certain patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

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Suzhen Lin, Yiwen Wu, Hongxia Li, Chencheng Zhang, Tao Wang, Yixin Pan, Lu He, Ruinan Shen, Zhengdao Deng, Bomin Sun, Jianqing Ding and Dianyou Li

OBJECTIVE

Surgical procedures involving deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) or subthalamic nucleus (STN) are well-established treatments for isolated dystonia. However, selection of the best stimulation target remains a matter of debate. The authors’ objective was to compare the effectiveness of DBS of the GPi and the STN in patients with isolated dystonia.

METHODS

In this matched retrospective cohort study, the authors searched an institutional database for data on all patients with isolated dystonia who had undergone bilateral implantation of DBS electrodes in either the GPi or STN in the period from January 30, 2014, to June 30, 2017. Standardized assessments of dystonia and health-related quality of life using the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) and SF-36 were conducted before and at 1, 6, and 12 months after surgery. No patients were lost to the 6-month follow-up; 5 patients were lost to the 12-month follow-up.

RESULTS

Both GPi (14 patients) and STN (16 patients) stimulation produced significant improvement in dystonia and quality of life in all 30 patients found in the database search. At the 1-month follow-up, however, the percentage improvement in the BFMDRS total movement score was significantly (p = 0.01) larger after STN DBS (64%) than after GPi DBS (48%). At the 12-month follow-up, the percentage improvement in the axis subscore was significantly (p = 0.03) larger after GPi DBS (93%) than after STN DBS (83%). Also, the total amount of electrical energy delivered was significantly (p = 0.008) lower with STN DBS than with GPi DBS (124 ± 52 vs 192 ± 65 μJ, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

The GPi and STN are both effective targets in alleviating dystonia and improving quality of life. However, GPi stimulation may be better for patients with axial symptoms. Moreover, STN stimulation may produce a larger clinical response within 1 month after surgery and may have a potential economic advantage in terms of lower battery consumption.

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Chencheng Zhang, Zhengdao Deng, Yixin Pan, Jing Zhang, Kristina Zeljic, Haiyan Jin, Odin van der Stelt, Hengfen Gong, Shikun Zhan, Dianyou Li and Bomin Sun

OBJECTIVE

A current challenge is finding an effective and safe treatment for severely disabled patients with Tourette’s syndrome (TS) and comorbid psychiatric disorders, in whom conventional treatments have failed. The authors aimed to evaluate the utility of globus pallidus internus deep brain stimulation (GPi-DBS) combined with bilateral anterior capsulotomy in treating these clinically challenging patients.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of the clinical history and outcomes of 10 severely disabled patients with treatment-refractory TS and a psychiatric comorbidity, who had undergone GPi-DBS combined with bilateral anterior capsulotomy in their hospital. At the time of surgery, patients presented mainly with obsessive-compulsive disorder and affective disorders. Clinical outcome assessments of tic and psychiatric symptoms, as well as of general adaptive functioning and quality of life, were performed at the time of surgery and at 6, 12, and between 24 and 96 months postsurgery.

RESULTS

After surgery, all patients showed significant progressive improvements in tic and psychiatric symptoms, along with improvements in general adaptive functioning and quality of life. Tic alleviation reached 64% at 12 months and 77% at the last follow-up on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale. At the final follow-up, patients had functionally recovered and displayed no or only mild tic and psychiatric symptoms. All patients tolerated treatment reasonably well, with no serious side effects.

CONCLUSIONS

GPi-DBS combined with bilateral anterior capsulotomy seems to offer major clinical benefits to severely disabled patients with otherwise treatment-refractory TS and psychiatric comorbidities.

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Hongjiang Wei, Chencheng Zhang, Tao Wang, Naying He, Dianyou Li, Yuyao Zhang, Chunlei Liu, Fuhua Yan and Bomin Sun

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to demonstrate the use of quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM)–based images to precisely localize the globus pallidus internus (GPi) for deep brain stimulation (DBS) planning and to enhance postsurgical visualization of the DBS lead positions.

METHODS

Presurgical T1-weighted (T1w), T2-weighted (T2w), and QSM images as well as postsurgical CT images were obtained in 29 patients with Parkinson’s disease. To enhance the contrast within the GP, a hybrid contrast was created by linearly combining T1w and QSM images. Contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs) of the GPi on T1w, T2w, QSM, and hybrid images were compared. The CNR differences were tested using the 1-way ANOVA method. The visualization of the DBS lead position was demonstrated by merging the postsurgical CT with presurgical MR images.

RESULTS

The hybrid images yield the best CNRs for GPi depiction and the visualization of the postsurgical DBS lead position was significantly improved.

CONCLUSIONS

QSM-based images allow for confident localization of borders of the GPi that is superior to T1w and T2w images. High-contrast hybrid images can be used for precisely directed DBS targeting, e.g., GPi DBS for the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease.

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Yijie Lai, Peng Huang, Chencheng Zhang, Liangyun Hu, ME, Zhengdao Deng, Dianyou Li, Bomin Sun, Wei Liu and Shikun Zhan

OBJECTIVE

Selective peripheral denervation (SPD) is a widely accepted surgery for medically refractory cervical dystonia (CD), but when SPD has failed, the available approaches are limited. The authors investigated the results from a cohort of CD patients treated with unilateral pallidotomy after unsatisfactory SPD.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed patients with primary CD who underwent unilateral pallidotomy after SPD between April 2007 and August 2019. The Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS) was used to evaluate symptom severity before surgery, 7 days postsurgery, 3 months postsurgery, and at the last follow-up. TWSTRS subscores for disability and pain and the 24-item Craniocervical Dystonia Questionnaire (CDQ-24) were used to assess quality of life.

RESULTS

At a mean final follow-up of 5 years, TWSTRS severity subscores and total scores were significantly improved (n = 12, mean improvement 57.3% and 62.3%, respectively, p = 0.0022 and p = 0.0022), and 8 of 12 patients (66.7%) were characterized as responders (improvement ≥ 25%). Patients with rotation symptoms before pallidotomy showed greater improvement in TWSTRS severity subscores than those who did not (p = 0.049). The most common adverse event was mild upper-limb weakness (n = 3). Patients’ quality of life was also improved.

CONCLUSIONS

Unilateral pallidotomy seems to offer an effective and safe option for patients with CD who have otherwise experienced limited benefits from SPD.