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Pearls in Patient Selection for Deep Brain Stimulation

Rodriguez, Ramon L. MD; Fernandez, Hubert H. MD; Haq, Ihtsham MD; Okun, Michael S. MD

doi: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e318095a4d5
Review Article

Background: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as an important treatment for medication refractory movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. General neurologists and even general practitioners may be called upon to screen potential candidates for DBS. The patient selection process plays an important role in this procedure.

Review Summary: In this article, we discuss “pearls” for the clinician who may be called upon to identify appropriate candidates for DBS. Additionally, we will discuss the important points that should be considered when referring patients for surgical intervention.

Conclusion: Diagnosis, response to levodopa, cognitive status, psychiatric status, access to care, and patient expectations are all essential elements of the patient selection process for DBS. These areas must be adequately addressed prior to any surgical procedure.

From the Department of Neurology, University of Florida Movement Disorders Center, McKnight Brain Institute, Gainesville, Florida.

Reprints: Ramon Rodriguez, MD, Department of Neurology, PO Box 100236, Gainesville, FL 32610. E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.