Deep brain stimulation in pediatric dystonia: a systematic review.

Hale AT, Monsour MA, Rolston JD, Naftel RP, Englot DJ
Neurosurg Rev. 2020 43 (3): 873-880

PMID: 30397842 · PMCID: PMC6500764 · DOI:10.1007/s10143-018-1047-9

While deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment is relatively rare in children, it may have a role in dystonia to reduce motor symptoms and disability. Pediatric DBS studies are sparse and limited by small sample size, and thus, outcomes are poorly understood. Thus, we performed a systematic review of the literature including studies of DBS for pediatric (age < 21) dystonia. Patient demographics, disease causes and characteristics, motor scores, and disability scores were recorded at baseline and at last post-operative follow-up. We identified 19 studies reporting DBS outcomes in 76 children with dystonia. Age at surgery was 13.8 ± 3.9 (mean ± SD) years, and 58% of individuals were male. Post-operative follow-up duration was 2.8 ± 2.8 years. Sixty-eight percent of patients had primary dystonia (PD), of whom 56% had a pathological mutation in DYT1 (DYT1+). Across all patients, regardless of dystonia type, 43.8 ± 36% improvement was seen in Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) motor (-M) scores after DBS, while 43.7 ± 31% improvement was observed in BFMDRS disability (-D) scores. Patients with PD were more likely to experience ≥ 50% improvement (56%) in BFMDRS-M scores compared to patients with secondary causes of dystonia (21%, p = 0.004). DYT1+ patients were more likely to achieve ≥ 50% improvement (65%) in BFMDRS-D than DTY1- individuals (29%, p = 0.02), although there was no difference in BFMDRS-M ≥ 50% improvement rates between DYT1+ (66%) or DYT1- (43%) children (p = 0.11). While DBS is less common in pediatric patients, individuals with severe dystonia may receive worthwhile benefit with neuromodulation treatment.

MeSH Terms (10)

Adolescent Child Child, Preschool Deep Brain Stimulation Dystonia Humans Neurosurgery Neurosurgical Procedures Pediatrics Treatment Outcome

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