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Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and deep brain stimulation


  • Marwan I. Hariz,

    1. Unit of Functional Neurosurgery, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK
    2. Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
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  • Mary M. Robertson

    1. UCL Department of Mental Health Sciences and Department of Neurology, St Georges Hospital and Medical School, London, UK
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Professor M. I. Hariz, 1Unit of Functional Neurosurgery, as above.


Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (GTS) is characterized by multiple motor and one or more vocal/phonic tics. Psychopathology and co-morbidity occur in approximately 80–90% of clinical cohorts. The most common psychopathologies are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety and certain behavioural disorders. In severe GTS patients who are refractory to medication and other therapies, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is investigated. To date there have been some 50–55 patients who have received DBS in 19 centres worldwide. Nine different brain targets in the thalamus, the pallidum, and the ventral caudate and anterior internal capsule have been stimulated. This paper reviews critically and in detail all studies published to date. Only two studies on just a few patients fulfil some of the evidence-based criteria. DBS for GTS is therefore still highly experimental.