Correlates of deep brain stimulation consensus conference decision to treat primary dystonia

Academic Article


  • Background: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment for motor disturbance in people with primary dystonia (PWD). Numerous factors are considered by an interdisciplinary consensus conference before deciding candidacy for DBS surgery (e.g., demographic, medical, cognitive, and behavioral factors). However, little is known about which of these factors are associated with PWD DBS surgery consensus conference decisions. Objective: Our goal was to examine whether pre-operative demographic, medical, and cognitive/behavioral variables are associated DBS consensus conference decisions in patients with dystonia. Methods: Thirty-two PWD completed comprehensive presurgery workup included neurological and neuropsychological exams, and neuroimaging in consideration for DBS surgery. An interdisciplinary conference committee either recommended or did not recommend DBS surgery based upon these data. Demographic and medical data (e.g., dystonia disease characteristics, medical comorbidities, medications) were also collected. We also examined impact from cardiovascular disease factors, using a Revised Cardiac Risk Index. PWD were grouped based on DBS conference decision (eligible: n = 21, ineligible: n = 11) and compared across demographic, medical, and cognitive/behavioral variables. Results: Across clinical variables, PWD who were deemed ineligible for DBS surgery had a higher Revised Cardiac Risk Index. PWD who were classified as ineligible displayed lower global cognitive functioning, working memory, phonemic fluency, memory retrieval, and cognitive flexibility. Conclusions: Consensus decision making regarding DBS surgery eligibility involves a multifactorial process. We found that deficits in executive functioning were associated with the DBS consensus committee decision. We also observed elevated cardiac risk among these individuals, likely reflecting the relation between vascular health and cognition. Implications, and clinical and scientific applications of these findings are discussed.
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    Author List

  • Niccolai L; Aita SL; Walker HC; Del Bene VA; Gerstenecker A; Marotta D; Gammon M; Martin RC; Clay OJ; Crowe M
  • Volume

  • 207