A study has found that deep brain stimulation could improve the quality of life of patients with dystonia-choreoathetosis cerebral palsy.
The research, published in The Lancet Neurology, suggests that the treatment could be an effective way of improving movement skills in people with the disabling disorder.
By implanting electrodes into the brain, it is stimulated through bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation (BP-DBS), which researchers claim reduces involuntary movements and tremors.
While previous studies found it improved primary generalised dystonia, it was not clear what the effect of this treatment on a secondary dystonia such as dystonia-choreoathetosis was.
Researchers implanted the leads into the globus pallidus internus (GPi) area of the brain of 13 patients with dystonia-choreoathetosis CP.
The results were analysed using the Burke-Fahn-Marsden dystonia rating scale before surgery and again after 12 months of continuous neurostimulation.
After one year in most cases BP-DBS resulted in sustained improvement in motor symptoms in most areas of the body, with an average score of 24.4%.
However, the responses varied between 21% and 55% in eight of the patients, while two patients showed little benefit, and in three it had no benefit or their condition deteriorated slightly.