• dystonia;
  • pallidotomy;
  • thalamotomy;
  • Hallervorden–Spatz disease


Hallervorden–Spatz disease (HSD) is a rare disorder characterized by progressive motor dysfunction and dementia. Dystonia is the most prominent and disabling symptom, responding only to a modest extent to pharmacological therapy. At the moment, only a few cases have been reported to improve dystonia and even fewer to resolve status dystonicus for a longer period in children. The authors present the case of a 10-year-old boy who had progressive generalized dystonia, resulting in spontaneous femur fracture and life-threatening swallowing and respiratory disability. As a rescue solution, staged bilateral pallidothalamotomy was performed. Postoperatively, Burke–Fahn–Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale and Dystonia Disability Rating Scale improved (from 116 and 30 points to 41 and 18 points, respectively) and painful dystonia was resolved, which was still continuous 4 years later (47 and 20 points). Stereotactic staged bilateral pallidothalamotomy should be considered as a potential treatment in the management of life-threatening generalized dystonia related to HSD. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society