Multimodal Imaging in a Patient with Hemidystonia Responsive to GPi Deep Brain Stimulation

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Case Rep Neurol Med


BACKGROUND: Dystonia is a syndrome with varied phenomenology but our understanding of its mechanisms is deficient. With neuroimaging techniques, such as fiber tractography (FT) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), pathway connectivity can be studied to that end. We present a hemidystonia patient treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS).

METHODS: After 10 years of left axial hemidystonia, a 45-year-old male underwent unilateral right globus pallidus internus (GPi) DBS. Whole brain MEG before and after anticholinergic medication was performed prior to surgery. 26-direction diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was obtained in a 3 T MRI machine along with FT. The patient was assessed before and one year after surgery by using the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS).

RESULTS: In the eyes-closed MEG study there was an increase in brain coherence in the gamma band after medication in the middle and inferior frontal region. FT demonstrated over 50% more intense ipsilateral connectivity in the right hemisphere compared to the left. After DBS, BFMDRS motor and disability scores both dropped by 71%.

CONCLUSION: Multimodal neuroimaging techniques can offer insights into the pathophysiology of dystonia and can direct choices for developing therapeutics. Unilateral pallidal DBS can provide significant symptom control in axial hemidystonia poorly responsive to medication.

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