Deep brain stimulation in tourette syndrome: a description of 3 patients with excellent outcome

Rodolfo Savica, Matt Stead, Kenneth J Mack, Kendall H Lee, Bryan T Klassen
Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2012, 87 (1): 59-62
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder often starting in childhood and characterized by the presence of multiple motor and vocal tics and psychiatric comorbidities. Patients with TS usually respond to medical treatment, and the condition often improves during adolescence; however, surgery has been considered a possible approach for the subset of patients with ongoing medically refractory disease. Ablative procedures have been associated with unsatisfactory results and major adverse effects, prompting trials of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as an alternative therapy. It remains unclear which of the various nuclear targets is most effective in TS. We describe 3 patients with TS who underwent DBS targeting the bilateral thalamic centromedian/parafascicular complex (CM/Pf) with an excellent clinical outcome. At 1-year follow-up, the mean reduction in the total Yale Global Tic Severity Scale score in the 3 patients was 70% (range, 60%-80%).Our study further supports the role of the CM/Pf DBS target in medically intractable TS.

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