A double-blind study on a patient with tardive dyskinesia treated with pallidal deep brain stimulation

Z Kefalopoulou, A Paschali, E Markaki, P Vassilakos, J Ellul, C Constantoyannis
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 2009, 119 (4): 269-73

BACKGROUND: Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a neurological disorder typically induced by long-term exposure to neuroleptics. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) may represent a therapeutic alternative for TD, which is often resistant to conservative treatment.

AIMS OF THE STUDY: This report's objective is to present a case of TD successfully treated with DBS, as well as to indicate a putative role of brain perfusion scintigraphy as a helpful tool correlating functional imaging findings with clinical responsiveness to DBS.

METHODS/RESULTS: A 42-year-old male patient suffering from refractory TD underwent bilateral GPi DBS surgery. Post-operative Burke-Fahn-Mardsen Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) and Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) total scores have been reduced by 90.7% and 76.7% respectively on the 6-month follow-up assessment. Brain perfusion scintigraphy, performed post-operatively in the two stimulation states, revealed a decrease in cerebral blood flow, during the 'on-DBS', compared with the 'off-DBS' state.

CONCLUSIONS: Clinical improvement of this patient, correspondent to previous studies, suggests that continuous bilateral GPi DBS may provide a promising treatment option for TD. Furthermore, this report could imply, as no previous such comparison study exists, a possible correlation between brain functional imaging findings and the movement disorder's response to DBS.

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