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Neurology Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 309431, 8 pages
Review Article

Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation

Department of Anaesthesia, University of Otago, P.O. Box 4345, Christchurch 8042, New Zealand

Received 27 June 2012; Accepted 3 August 2012

Academic Editor: Nader Pouratian

Copyright © 2012 Edward A. Shipton. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Movement disorders are neurological conditions affecting speed, fluency, quality, and ease of movement. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is used to treat advanced Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. Possible target sites for DBS include the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus, the globus pallidus internus, and the subthalamic nucleus. High-frequency DBS leads to a kind of functional deafferentation of the stimulated structure and to the modulation of cortical activity. This has a profound effect on the efficiency of movement. Indications for the use of DBS include the need to improve function, reduce medication dependency, and avoid ablative neurosurgery. Appropriate patient selection is critical for success. The implantation technique is briefly described. Programming stimulation parameters are performed via telemetry. The adverse effects of DBS are discussed. The future should see the development of “closed-loop” systems. Its use has promoted interdisciplinary team work and provided an improved understanding of the complex neurocircuitry associated with these disorders. DBS is a highly effective, safe, and reversible surgical treatment for advanced Parkinson’s disease, tremor, and dystonia. It is a useful therapeutic option in carefully selected patients that significantly improves motor symptoms, functional status, and quality of life.