Author(s): BaizabalCarvallo JF, Kagnoff MN, JimenezShahed J, Fekete R, Jankovic J, BaizabalCarvallo JF, Kagnoff MN, JimenezShahed J, Fekete R, Jankovic J
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has proven to be a safe and effective therapy for refractory essential tremor, but information regarding long-term outcomes is lacking. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess the long-term safety and efficacy of DBS in patients with essential tremor. METHODS: Patients treated with DBS for essential tremor for at least 8 years were evaluated in the 'on' and 'off' state using the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin tremor rating scale, and their medical records were reviewed to assess complications related to this therapy. RESULTS: We studied 13 patients (7 men): median age at evaluation 79 years (range 47-88), median age at electrode implantation 68 years (range 37-78) and mean time since electrode implantation 132.54±15.3 months (range 114-164). The difference between the 'off' and 'on' state on the motor items of the tremor rating scale was 41.9\% (58.62 vs. 34.08, p<0.001) in the non-blinded and 37.2\% (56.07 vs. 35.23, p<0.001) in the blinded rating. DBS provided a functional improvement of 31.7\% in the 'on' state (15.07 vs. 22.07, p<0.001). A total non-blinded improvement in the tremor rating scale of 39\% was observed in the 'on' state (49.15 vs. 80.69, p<0.001). Dysarthria and disequilibrium were common in patients with bilateral stimulation. A DBS-related surgery (electrode revision or internal pulse generator exchange) was necessary on average every 47.9 months to continue with the DBS therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Thalamic DBS is a safe and effective therapy in patients with essential tremor followed for up to 13 years.
This article was published in J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Multiple Sclerosis