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

Deep brain stimulation in geriatric patients

Tiefe Hirnstimulation bei geriatrischen Patienten

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author D. Falk - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel
  • M. O. Pinsker - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel
  • J. Herzog - Klinik für Neurologie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel
  • H. M. Mehdorn - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel

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. DocP 095

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

Published: May 30, 2008

© 2008 Falk 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: Currently the deep brain stimulation is an accepted standart method for treatment of movement disorders. However, the implantation in older patients and the expectant benefit for them are discussed controversially.

Methods: We retrospectivly analysed all patients at the age of 70 years or older, which have undergone deep brain stimulation in our department, since we started the program in 1999 up to Juli 2007. We recorded indication for surgery, target point, number of microelectrodes, perioperative and late onset complications and compared complication rate and outcome with our previous data for the total patient collective.

Results: Out of the 360 patients which have undergone deep brain stimulation in this period, 42 were classified as geriatric patients with a mean age of 72,2 years (70-78 years). Indications for surgery were Parkinson's disease (n=27), essential tremor (n=10), dystonia (n=3), and other forms of tremor (n=2). For Parkinson's disease our main target was the STN (n=22), but also the GPI (n=1) and the VIM (n=4). The target for dystonia was the GPI, for tremor the VIM. For the microrecording 3 or more electrodes could be used in 41 patients. Looking at the perioperative complications we had one case of hemorrhage with the consequence of a permanent hemiparesis, one asymptomatic infarction, and one electrode had to be revised because of dislocation. On late onset complication there was one revision because of painful scaring. There was no infection and no hospital mortality. In summary we find no higher complicationrate than in younger patients and the outcome was also comparable.

Conclusions: We conclude that the deep brain stimulation is an effective method for movement disorders also in geriatric patients. They have a similarly benefit from the surgery. Nevertheless, a carefully patient selection and indication setting is necessary, and the complication rate and the mortality will not be higher than in younger patients.