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Keywords:

  • primary dystonia;
  • subthalamic nucleus;
  • deep brain stimulation;
  • Burke–Fahn–Marsden dystonia rating scale;
  • Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form General Health Survey

ABSTRACT

Background

Deep brain stimulation has generated sustained improvement in motor function for patients with dystonia, but the long-term impact of subthalamic nucleus stimulation on dystonia has not been elucidated.

Methods

Patients with primary dystonia underwent bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation and were evaluated with the Burke–Fahn–Marsden dystonia rating scale and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form General Health Survey at baseline and 1 month, 1 year, and 3 to 10 years postoperatively.

Results

Improvements in motor function according to the Burke–Fahn–Marsden dystonia rating scale at 1 month, 1 year, and 3 to 10 years of stimulation were 55%, 77%, and 79%, respectively. The quality of life improved after 1 month of stimulation (P < 0.001), progressed within 1 year (P < 0.001), and then remained stable. Disease duration was negatively correlated with an improvement in motor function.

Conclusions

Our results demonstrate that the subthalamus is an alternative to the globus pallidus internus as a target for deep brain stimulation to treat primary dystonia. © 2013 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society