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Thread: What is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)?

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    Post What is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)?

    Deep brain stimulation for Tourette syndrome
    American Academy of Neurology
    Neurology October 27, 2009 vol. 73 no. 17 e87-e90

    WHAT IS DBS AND WHY WOULD IT BE APPLIED TO TS?

    Deep brain stimulation refers to placing very thin wires through the skull and into specific places in the brain, then sending electrical pulses through the wires to affect the activity of those brain regions. In other movement disorders, such as essential tremor or Parkinson disease, there is now good evidence that DBS is effective and relatively safe. This has led to the application of DBS to other movement disorders including TS.

    Our state of knowledge regarding DBS for tics is no longer in its infancy but at best is still in the toddler stage. For one thing, it is not yet clear where in the brain the wires should be placed for best effect. The 2 best sites seem to be the internal globus pallidus (GPi) and the centromedian-parafascicular nuclei of the thalamus, near the middle of the brain (CM-Pf). Second, only a handful of patients with TS have participated in controlled studies of DBS, where active stimulation treatment is compared to sham or “pretend” treatment. Finally, little information is available on the long-term effects of DBS for tic disorders. The current study from Italy and the UK in this issue of Neurology reports information on long-term DBS treatment in adults with TS.

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