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  • Deep brain stimulation for movement disorders and pain.

    12 December 2017

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an expanding field within neurosurgery. With many neurosurgeons performing relatively small numbers of these procedures, detailed descriptions of the technical aspects and nuances of DBS may be worthwhile. We describe our technique for DBS, based on over 300 procedures. This methodology continues to evolve and is refined according to our own experience, our observations of others, technological innovations, and information derived from the neurosurgical literature. The indications for DBS in our service are outlined, the anatomical targets described, and the anaesthetic and surgical aspects detailed.

  • Senile chorea treated by deep brain stimulation: a clinical, neurophysiological and functional imaging study.

    8 December 2017

    We report on a patient with senile chorea, treated with deep brain stimulation of the left globus pallidus internus and subsequently the left ventralis oralis posterior nucleus of the thalamus. Deep brain field potential recordings and functional imaging using single photon emission tomography enabled us to suggest pathophysiological mechanisms for the symptoms.

  • Pedunculopontine nucleus.

    12 December 2017

  • Executive cognitive deficits in primary dystonia.

    12 December 2017

    Primary dystonia is a disorder of movement for which no consistent pathophysiology has been identified; in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it is assumed to be cognitively benign. We have studied a clinically heterogeneous group of 14 patients with primary dystonia on a battery of neuropsychological tests. Despite well-preserved speed of information processing, language, spatial, memory and general intellectual skills relative to normal controls, we have identified a constellation of attentional-executive cognitive deficits on the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Specifically, patients demonstrated significant difficulties negotiating the extra-dimensional set-shifting phase of the IED task. The implications of these findings for the pathophysiology of primary dystonia are discussed. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first report of a significant cognitive deficit in patients with primary dystonia.

  • Post-operative progress of dystonia patients following globus pallidus internus deep brain stimulation.

    12 December 2017

    In the current era of functional surgery for movement disorders, deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) is emerging as the favoured intervention for patients with dystonia. Here we report our results in 20 patients with medically intractable dystonia treated with GPi stimulation. The series comprised 14 patients with generalized dystonia and six with spasmodic torticollis. Although comparisons were limited by differences in their respective neurological rating scales, chronic DBS clearly benefited both patient groups. Data conveying the rate of change in neurological function following intervention are also presented, demonstrating the gradual but progressive and sustained nature of improvement following stimulation of the GPi in dystonic patients.

  • Thalamic field potentials during deep brain stimulation of periventricular gray in chronic pain.

    8 December 2017

    Stimulation of the central gray matter areas has been used for the treatment of chronic pain for decades. To better understand the mechanism of action of such treatment we studied the effects of stimulation of the periventricular gray (PVG) on the sensory thalamus in two patients with chronic central pain. In each case, two electrodes were implanted in the PVG (Medtronic 3389) and the ventroposterolateral thalamic nucleus (Medtronic 3387), respectively, under guidance of CT/MRI image fusion. The PVG was stimulated in the frequency range of 2-100 Hz in alert patients while pain was assessed using the McGill-Melzack visual analogue scale. In addition, local field potentials (FPs) were recorded from the sensory thalamus during PVG stimulation. Maximum pain relief was obtained with 5-25 Hz stimulation while 50-100 Hz made the pain worse. This suggests that pain suppression was frequency dependent. Interestingly, we detected low frequency FPs at 0.2-0.4 Hz closely associated with the pain. During 5-25 Hz PVG stimulation the amplitude of this potential was significantly reduced and this was associated with marked pain relief. At the higher frequencies (50-100 Hz) however, there was no reduction in the FPs and no pain suppression. We have found an interesting correlation between thalamic activity and chronic pain. This curious low frequency potential may provide an objective index for quantifying chronic pain, and may hold further clues to the mechanism of action of PVG stimulation.

  • Bilateral internal globus pallidus stimulation for the treatment of spasmodic torticollis.

    8 December 2017

    Three patients with spasmodic torticollis (ST) obtained substantial benefit from bilateral globus pallidus internus (GPi) stimulation. Progressive improvement in ST occurred over several months but residual cervical dystonia remained. These results corroborate those obtained by Krauss et al. on three patients with ST.

  • Permanent tremor reduction during thalamic stimulation in multiple sclerosis.

    12 December 2017

    BACKGROUND: Unlike thalamic lesioning, thalamic stimulation is considered a reversible treatment for tremor. However, tremor in multiple sclerosis (MS) can sometimes permanently improve during thalamic stimulation. Such 'permanent tremor reduction' (PTR) has been attributed to limb weakness preventing tremor expression. In this study, 11 consecutive patients with MS tremor treated with thalamic stimulation were assessed for PTR. Eighteen upper limbs had tremor, of which 16 received contralateral stimulation. METHODS: Tremor severity and limb strength were assessed preoperatively, early postoperatively (within 1 year) and late postoperatively (after 3 years). Tremor severity was rated using validated clinical scales both on and off stimulation. Following explantation, the parenchyma surrounding three electrode tracts was examined with MRI. RESULTS: At final review (mean 5.2 years) PTR was evident in 11 of the 18 upper limbs with tremor. PTR often rendered stimulation redundant. PTR could occur when limb strength was conserved and could arise remotely from the initial surgery. PTR was significant (and universal) in limbs that received long-term (>2 years) effective (tremor suppressing) stimulation. PTR was not a significant finding in limbs that had not received long-term, effective stimulation. Contralateral to a limb with PTR, MRI revealed a thalamic lesion adjacent to the electrode tract. Thalamic lesions were not identified contralateral to two limbs without PTR. CONCLUSIONS: MS tremor often permanently improves during thalamic stimulation, even when limb strength is conserved. PTR may simply reflect natural history. Alternatively, these findings appear consistent with the recent proposal that thalamic stimulation in MS might promote local 'demyelinative lesioning.'