gms | German Medical Science

59th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
3rd Joint Meeting with the Italian Neurosurgical Society (SINch)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

1 - 4 June 2008, Würzburg

Successful chronic bilateral Globus pallidus internus stimulation for intractable Gilles de la Tourette syndrome – follow-up of 15 months

Erfolgreiche chronische bilaterale Globus pallidus internus Stimulation bei therapierefraktärem Gilles de la Tourette Syndrom – Follow-up von 15 Monaten

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author J.H. Mehrkens - Neurochirurgische Universitätsklinik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • S. Dehning - Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • U. Steude - Neurochirurgische Universitätsklinik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • N. Müller - Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • K. Bötzel - Neurologische Universitätsklinik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Società Italiana di Neurochirurgia. 59. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), 3. Joint Meeting mit der Italienischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (SINch). Würzburg, 01.-04.06.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. DocDI.07.08

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 30, 2008

© 2008 Mehrkens et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: The usefulness of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) has recently come into focus with the Globus pallidus internus (Gpi) being one possible target (three cases with Gpi-DBS for GTS published to date). We here present the immediate post-operative results and data from a 15-month follow-up of a patient with intractable GTS in whom bilateral GPI-DBS was performed.

Methods: The 44-year-old female patient had been suffering from multiple severely disabling vocal and motor tics as well as compulsive tendencies since the age of 5 years. The diagnosis of GTS was established at the age of 28 years. Any applied medical treatment (including typical and atypical neuroleptics, benzodiazepines and neuromodulatory approaches) was without lasting significant relief for the patient. After informed consent, electrode-implantation (DBS 3387, Medtronic) for bilateral Gpi-stimulation was performed under Propofol anaesthesia with MRI-guided stereotaxy using a modified Leksell/Lerch system. After 5 days of successful stimulation by an external test stimulation system, permanent implantation of the stimulation system (Soletra, Medtronic) was performed. Initially, standard settings also used in Gpi-DBS for dystonia were chosen (monopolar stimulation, amplitude 2.5 V, pulse width 120 µsec, frequency 130 pps). Electrode position was verified by MRI and clinical outcome was assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS), the Verbal learning memory test (VLMT) and the Stroop-Test.

Results: There was a significant improvement of symptoms already during the first week. After 6 weeks, the YGTSS score had improved from 83 to 28 (66.3%). At 8-months follow-up there was a further significant relief of the clinical symptoms along with an improvement of the YGTSS score to 18 (78.3%) and at last follow-up (15 months) the patient was virtually tic-free (YGTSS score improvement to 10 (88.0%)). Neuropsychological testing pre- and post-operatively showed an identical cognitive function. No surgery or therapy-related morbidity was observed. Stimulation parameters had to be gradually adjusted for optimal effectiveness during follow-up with the last amplitude being relatively high at 4.2 V.

Conclusions: Gpi-DBS seems to offer a valuable effective and safe therapy in otherwise intractable GTS. Further (prospective) studies will be crucial to determine its clinical (long-term) effectiveness.