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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves placing electrodes into the brain. Through these electrodes, artificial electrical signals are chronically delivered into deep brain regions in order to alter abnormal brain activity. The artificial electrical signals are generated by a battery that is inserted under the skin of the chest. DBS is used to treat several disorders of movement, including dystonia. In dystonia, the electrodes are inserted into a brain region called the globus pallidus.
Globus pallidus stimulation can be very effective therapy for dystonia. However not all patients are equally responsive and therapeutic outcomes can be frustratingly variable. The reason for this variability is unclear. Such variability in response may need to be met by tailoring stimulation to individual patients.
Another issue with deep brain stimulation is battery life. Eventually, batteries become depleted and need to be replaced. Such battery replacements require an operation, hospital stay and the risk of introducing infection. The high electrical energy that has been used to treat dystonia means that batteries are typically replaced every year or two.
The artificial electrical signals of deep brain stimulation are delivered with three parameters; frequency (Hertz - Hz), voltage (volts) and pulse width (microseconds). It has recently been reported that lower frequency stimulation, at 60Hz rather than 130Hz, can be used effectively to treat dystonia. Such 60Hz stimulation may be more effective for some patients than others. The lower energy demands of 60Hz stimulation would also greatly improve battery life (potentially doubling battery life).
The aim of this study is to assess if 60Hz stimulation is more effective in ameliorating the dystonia of patients who have responded poorly to 130Hz pallidal stimulation. The current status of the evidence is one of clinical equipoise (uncertainty) and therefore suits a double blinded randomised trial.
Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment
Alteration of deep brain stimulator settings
University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Surgery
University of Oxford
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:19:32-0400
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The part of brain that lies behind the BRAIN STEM in the posterior base of skull (CRANIAL FOSSA, POSTERIOR). It is also known as the "little brain" with convolutions similar to those of CEREBRAL CORTEX, inner white matter, and deep cerebellar nuclei. Its function is to coordinate voluntary movements, maintain balance, and learn motor skills.
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Acquired and inherited conditions that feature DYSTONIA as a primary manifestation of disease. These disorders are generally divided into generalized dystonias (e.g., dystonia musculorum deformans) and focal dystonias (e.g., writer's cramp). They are also classified by patterns of inheritance and by age of onset.
Therapy for MOVEMENT DISORDERS, especially PARKINSON DISEASE, that applies electricity via stereotactic implantation of ELECTRODES in specific areas of the BRAIN such as the THALAMUS. The electrodes are attached to a neurostimulator placed subcutaneously.
An attitude or posture due to the co-contraction of agonists and antagonist muscles in one region of the body. It most often affects the large axial muscles of the trunk and limb girdles. Conditions which feature persistent or recurrent episodes of dystonia as a primary manifestation of disease are referred to as DYSTONIC DISORDERS. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p77)
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