Vol 50, No 2 (2016)
Review Article

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Deep brain stimulation for intractable tardive dystonia: Literature overview

Michał Sobstyl1, Mirosław Ząbek1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2016.01.004
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2016;50(2):114-122.



Tardive dystonia (TD) represents a side effect of prolonged intake of dopamine receptor blocking compounds. TD can be a disabling movement disorder persisting despite available medical treatment. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been reported successful in this condition although the number of treated patients with TD is still limited to small clinical studies or case reports. The aim of this study was to present the systematical overview of the existing literature regarding DBS for intractable TD.

Methods and results

A literature search was carried out in PudMed. Clinical case series or case reports describing the patients with TD after DBS treatment were included in the present overview. Literature search revealed 19 articles reporting 59 individuals operated for TD. GPi was the target in 55 patients, while subthalamic nucleus (STN) was the target in the remaining 4. In most studies the motor part of Burke–Fahn–Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) was improved by more than 80% when compared to preoperative BFMDRS scores.


The performed literature analysis indicates that bilateral GPi DBS is an effective treatment for disabling TD. The response of TD to bilateral GPi DBS may be very rapid and occurs within days/weeks after the procedure. The efficacy of bilateral GPi DBS in TD patients is comparable to results achieved in patients with primary generalized dystonia.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska