Inclusion and exclusion criteria for DBS in dystonia

Helen Bronte-Stewart, Takaomi Taira, Francesc Valldeoriola, Marcello Merello, William J. Marks, Alberto Albanese, Susan Bressman, Elena Moro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When considering a patient with dystonia for deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery several factors need to be considered. Level B evidence has shown that all motor features and associated pain in primary generalized and segmental dystonia are potentially responsive to globus pallidus internus (GPi) DBS. However, improvements in clinical series of ≥90% may reflect methods that need improvement, and larger prospective studies are needed to address these factors. Nevertheless, to date the selection criteria for DBS-specifically in terms of patient features (severity and nature of symptoms, age, time of evolution, or any other demographic or disease aspects)-have not been assessed in a systematic fashion. In general, dystonia patients are not considered for DBS unless medical therapies have been previously and extensively tested. The vast majority of reported patients have had DBS surgery when the disease was provoking important disability, with loss of independence and impaired quality of life. There does not appear to be an upper age limit or a minimum age limit, although there are no published data regarding the outcome of GPi DBS for dystonia in children younger than 7 years of age. There is currently no enough evidence to prove that subjects with primary-generalized dystonia who undergo DBS at an early age and sooner rather than later after disease onset may gain more benefit from DBS than those undergoing DBS after the development of fixed skeletal deformities. There is no enough evidence to refuse or support consideration of DBS in patients with previous ablative procedures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • DBS
  • Dystonia
  • Pallidal stimulation
  • Surgery
  • Thalamic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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