11. Deep Brain Stimulation in Pain Syndromes

  1. Sam Eljamel2 and
  2. Konstantin V. Slavin3
  1. Alexander Green

Published Online: 19 JUL 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118346396.ch11

Neurostimulation: Principles and Practice

Neurostimulation: Principles and Practice

How to Cite

Green, A. (2013) Deep Brain Stimulation in Pain Syndromes, in Neurostimulation: Principles and Practice (eds S. Eljamel and K. V. Slavin), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118346396.ch11

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Centre for Neurosciences, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, Scotland, UK

  2. 3

    Department of Neurosurgery, University of Illinois at Chicago. Chicago, Illinois, USA

Author Information

  1. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 JUL 2013
  2. Published Print: 19 AUG 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118346358

Online ISBN: 9781118346396



  • chronic neuropathic pain;
  • deep brain stimulation (DBS);
  • movement disorders;
  • Parkinson's disease (PD);
  • stimulation related side‐effects


Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become well known as an important therapy for treating movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD), tremor, and dystonia, it was in fact used for chronic pain over 50 years ago by stimulating the hypothalamus. Patients with chronic neuropathic pain are often complex and pain can be very difficult to assess objectively. Patients that are suitable for DBS are ones that have pain refractory to multiple medication regimes and multiple classes of analgesics. Patients should be aware that having a DBS implant will require fairly regular follow‐up for programming and battery changes every few years. They should also be aware that DBS rarely removes the pain completely and the intention is to significantly reduce the intensity of the pain. Stimulation related side‐effects can generally be mitigated by adjustment of the stimulation parameters.