July 11, 2014 9:00 — 0 Comments

3-D Computer Model for Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Dystonia

Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) can be an effective therapy for dystonia, the treatment isn’t always effective, or benefits may not be immediate. Precise placement of DBS electrodes is one of several factors that can affect results, but few studies have attempted to identify where electrode placement is most effective. Researchers have now created 3-D, computerized models that map the brain region involved in dystonia. In this retrospective study, investigators examined a database of 94 patients with the most common genetic form of dystonia, DYT1, who had been treated with DBS for at least a year. They selected 21 patients who had good responses to treatment, compiled their demographic and treatment information, and used magnetic resonance imaging scans to create 3-D anatomical models with a fine grid to show exact location of relevant brain structures. The investigators then simulated the placement of electrodes as they were positioned in the patients’ brains and input the actual stimulation parameters into a computer program, which calculated detailed information specific to each patient and each electrode. “We found that clinicians were applying relatively large amounts of energy to wide swaths of the globus pallidus, but the area in common among most individuals was much smaller,” said Michele Tagliati, MD, director of the Movement Disorders Program in the department of neurology at Cedars-Sinai. To learn more about the study, click here.

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