Neurosurgical treatment for Gilles de la Tourette syndrome: The Italian perspective

Mauro Porta, Marco Sassi, Fizzah Ali, Andrea Eugenio Cavanna, Domenico Servello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the availability of both pharmacological and behavioral therapies for Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (GTS), a subgroup of patients suffer intractable disease and require treatment through non-conservative means. Since 1955, various neurosurgical procedures have been considered as a potential resort for this severely affected sub-group; this article reviews the neurosurgical treatment for GTS, with in-depth discussion on deep brain stimulation (DBS). Internationally, 39 cases of GTS undergoing DBS treatment have been published. Yet, despite the small numbers of patients assessed in centers involved and the inconsistency of postoperative assessment between centres, DBS has been considered the most promising neurosurgical procedure. Patients resorting to surgical measures often carry the additional burden of a diverse range of behavioral disturbances found to significantly impair health-related quality of life; comorbid psychopathologies must be considered when postoperatively evaluating the benefits of DBS. The authors acknowledge that out of the 39 documented cases of GTS treated with DBS, 18 cases originate from Italy; thus, it seems both relevant and pertinent to recount and present the lived Italian experience of that subgroup of GTS treated by DBS, for the first time. Recommendations from such experience are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-590
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Behavioral co-morbidities
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome
  • Italian perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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