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Keywords:

  • Deep brain stimulation;
  • depression;
  • movement disorders

Objectives

The presence of a deep brain stimulator (DBS) in a patient with a movement disorder who develops psychiatric symptoms poses unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges for the treating clinician. Few sources discuss approaches to diagnosing and treating these symptoms.

Materials and Methods

The authors review the literature on psychiatric complications in DBS for movement disorders and propose a heuristic for categorizing symptoms according to their temporal relationship with the DBS implantation process.

Results

Psychiatric symptoms after DBS can be categorized as preimplantation, intra-operative/perioperative, stimulation related, device malfunction, medication related, and chronic stimulation related/long term. Once determined, the specific etiology of a symptom guides the practitioner in treatment.

Conclusions

A structured approach to psychiatric symptoms in DBS patients allows practitioners to effectively diagnose and treat them when they arise.