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Globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) is efficacious for reduction of medically refractory, primary, generalised dystonia and subtypes of acquired dystonia,1 but there is little evidence supporting the efficacy of DBS in dystonia acquired after stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Dystonia has been reported in up to 4% of patients with post-stroke2 and up to 20% of patients after severe TBI.3 Patients who develop dystonia after stroke or TBI are typically adolescents/young adults, in whom dystonia manifests in days to years after the initial event. Brain MRI abnormalities are often present, typically in the basal ganglia. The most frequent type of dystonia observed in this population is hemidystonia, which is usually refractory to medical management.3 Since young adults are predominantly afflicted and the dystonia is often medically refractory, this population experiences significant disability for the majority of their lifetime.
In order to determine if DBS can be beneficial to this population, we have analysed patients’ outcomes from the Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) DBS database in a retrospective, observational study.
All patients who received DBS for dystonia acquired after stroke/TBI were identified through a search of the TWH DBS dystonia database (1995–2012) and were included in the study. Dystonia was diagnosed by a movement disorder neurologist. The study was reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Board of the University Health Network. Details of DBS surgery have been published previously.4 Post-DBS MRI were performed to verify correct …