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AAN 2021 | Latest investigations into DBS for dystonia: new targets and closed-loop stimulation

Medical treatments for dystonia are typically inadequate and limited by adverse events associated with their use. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment for dystonia, with strong evidence supporting its clinical benefit in primary generalized and segmental dystonia, as well as some forms of focal dystonia, including adult-onset severe focal cervical dystonia. Marta San Luciano, MD, University of California San Francisco Medical Center, CA, outlines recent advancements and ongoing investigations into the optimization of DBS. Pallidal DBS is an established treatment option, but other targets have shown promise. Subthalamic and thalamic targeting continue to be investigated, with cerebellar targeting considered a future possibility. There is also considerable interest in closed-loop stimulation to improve efficiency and reduce side effects. Investigations into potential biomarkers for closed-loop stimulation are ongoing. This interview took place during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2021 Annual Meeting.


Dr San Luciano reports the following disclosures: research grant support from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS) and from the Smart Family, and funds for consulting from Boston Scientific (in 2019).