Vertical gaze palsy after thalamic stimulation for Tourette syndrome: Case report

Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.62). 12/2007; 61(5):E1100; discussion E1100. DOI: 10.1227/01.neu.0000303208.00242.a6
Source: PubMed


We describe a patient who developed a vertical gaze paralysis after deep brain stimulation performed for intractable Tourette syndrome due to a small deep bleeding in the upper mesencephalon.
A 39-year-old man underwent thalamic deep brain stimulation for intractable Tourette syndrome. Immediately postoperatively, he had diplopia and dizziness. The neurological examination revealed vertical gaze palsy with preserved vertical oculocephalic movements. A postoperative computed tomography scan revealed a discrete high-density lesion across the midline at the distal end of the left electrode. This area corresponds with the pretectal area, including the rostral interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus, with sparing of the oculomotor and rubral nuclei.
Six months postoperatively, maximal upward and downward smooth pursuit eye movements were achieved. Upward saccadic velocities were still reduced by 20 to 25 degrees.
This case report describes a complication that might demand special attention during the planning of thalamic deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Tourette syndrome. Examination of both horizontal and vertical eye movements during deep brain stimulation surgery is recommended.

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    • "Again, Patient 6 showed most individual changes and in particular a decrease in mental speed. Serious adverse events included a small intracranial haemorrhage in one (Patient 2) resulting in vertical gaze palsy that resolved after 6 months and subjective changes in the velocity of upward gaze thereafter (Ackermans et al., 2007), one skin infection (Patient 3) successfully treated with Table 6 Results on secondary outomes in six patients with Tourette syndrome "
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    ABSTRACT: Deep brain stimulation of the thalamus has been proposed as a therapeutic option in patients with Tourette syndrome who are refractory to pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment. Patients with intractable Tourette syndrome were invited to take part in a double-blind randomized cross-over trial assessing the efficacy and safety of stimulation of the centromedian nucleus-substantia periventricularis-nucleus ventro-oralis internus crosspoint in the thalamus. After surgery, the patients were randomly assigned to 3 months stimulation followed by 3 months OFF stimulation (Group A) or vice versa (Group B). The cross-over period was followed by 6 months ON stimulation. Assessments were performed prior to surgery and at 3, 6 months and 1 year after surgery. The primary outcome was a change in tic severity as measured by the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the secondary outcome was a change in associated behavioural disorders and mood. Possible cognitive side effects were studied during stimulation ON at 1 year postoperatively. Interim analysis was performed on a sample of six male patients with only one patient randomized to Group B. Tic severity during ON stimulation was significantly lower than during OFF stimulation, with substantial improvement (37%) on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (mean 41.1 ± 5.4 versus 25.6 ± 12.8, P = 0.046). The effect of stimulation 1 year after surgery was sustained with significant improvement (49%) on the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (mean 42.2 ± 3.1 versus 21.5 ± 11.1, P = 0.028) when compared with preoperative assessments. Secondary outcome measures did not show any effect at a group level, either between ON and OFF stimulation or between preoperative assessment and that at 1 year postoperatively. Cognitive re-assessment at 1 year after surgery showed that patients needed more time to complete the Stroop Colour Word Card test. This test measures selective attention and response inhibition. Serious adverse events included one small haemorrhage ventral to the tip of the electrode, one infection of the pulse generator, subjective gaze disturbances and reduction of energy levels in all patients. The present preliminary findings suggest that stimulation of the centromedian nucleus-substantia periventricularis-nucleus ventro-oralis internus crosspoint may reduce tic severity in refractory Tourette syndrome, but there is the risk of adverse effects related to oculomotor function and energy levels. Further randomized controlled trials on other targets are urgently needed since the search for the optimal one is still ongoing.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Brain
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    ABSTRACT: Tourette's Syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics, often associated with behavioral disorders. Symptoms often disappear before or during adulthood. The pathophysiology of TS is still a matter of considerable debate. Current knowledge of cortico-basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits provide explanations for the beneficial effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on tics. When conservative treatment fails in patients with severe TS, DBS may be a therapeutic option. In 1999, thalamic DBS was introduced for intractable TS. Since then, multiple targets have been used in a small number of patients, including the globus pallidus pars interna and the nucleus accumbens. Inclusion and exclusion criteria have been formulated to identify good candidates for DBS.
    Full-text · Article · May 2008 · Neurotherapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics. It is often associated with depression, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, self-injurious behaviour and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In intractable patients, neuromodulation using deep brain stimulation (DBS) has widely replaced psychosurgery. Three different key structures are defined for DBS, the medial portion of the thalamus, the globus pallidus internus and the anterior limb of the internal capsule/nucleus accumbens. This is a comprehensive overview on the effect of DBS on motor and non-motor symptoms using different case series and two larger studies.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2008 · The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry
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