admin May 21, 2019

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become the treatment of choice for advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease, medically intractable essential tremor, and complicated segmental and generalized dystonia. In addition to accurate electrode placement in the target area, effective programming of DBS devices is considered the most important factor for the individual outcome after DBS. Programming of the implanted pulse generator (IPG) is the only modifiable factor once DBS leads have been implanted and it becomes even more relevant in cases in which the electrodes are located at the border of the intended target structure and when side effects become challenging. At present, adjusting stimulation parameters depends to a large extent on personal experience. Based on a comprehensive literature search, we here summarize previous studies that examined the significance of distinct stimulation strategies for ameliorating disease signs and symptoms. We assess the effect of adjusting the stimulus amplitude (A), frequency (f) and pulse width (pw) on clinical symptoms and examine more recent techniques for modulating neuronal elements by electrical stimulation, such as interleaving (Medtronic) or directional current steering (Boston Scientific). We thus provide an evidence-based strategy for achieving the best clinical effect with different disorders and avoiding adverse effects in DBS of the subthalamic nucleus (STN), the ventrointermedius nucleus (VIM) and the globus pallidus internus (GPi).

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