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Headache Secondary to Deep Brain Implantation

Authors

  • Felix Veloso MD,

    1. From the Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, The Plains Health Center, University of Saskatchewan, Regina (Dr. Veloso) and
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  • Krishna Kumar MD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Section of Neurosurgery (Dr. Kumar), The Plains Health Center, University of Saskatchewan, Regina, and the
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  • Cory Toth MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, Royal University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon (Dr. Toth).
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Address all correspondence to Dr. Cory Toth, Neurological Associates, Suite 442, Plains Health Centre, 4500 Wascana Parkway, S4S 5W9, Regina, SK, Canada.

Abstract

This article examines the headaches that can develop with deep brain stimulation. We identified 15 (23.4%) of 64 patients who developed chronic headaches following implantation of deep brain stimulation electrodes for relief of chronic pain syndromes. Electrodes were implanted in the periaqueductal gray, sensory thalamus, and internal capsule. None of these 15 patients reported similar headaches prior to the implantation. Although 5 patients were intermittent headache sufferers prior to implantation, they reported post-implantation headaches to be completely different in nature. Our experience suggests that headache syndromes may arise due to disturbance of serotonergic neurotransmission within deep brain structures.

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