Cervical dystonia is a variant of focal dystonia manifested by increased tone of the neck muscles with head fixation in a non-physiological position and its occasional involuntary movements. The disease causes are associated with organic brain damage, but in a large number of patients with cervical dystonia, the cause of the disorder remains unclear.
When conservative therapy, typically involving the use of a pharmaceutical botulinum toxin, proves to be ineffective, the issue of surgical treatment is addressed. The method of surgery is selected on the basis of clinical traditions, indications and comorbidities.
Deep Brain Stimulation
One of the advanced technologies for surgical treatment of cervical dystonia is a deep brain stimulation. The aim of stimulation upon this method of treatment is usually globus pallidus, one of the deep brain structures involved in formation of simple and complex movements.
Using stereotactic systems, an electrode receiving impulses from electrostimulator fixed under the scalp is implanted in the globus pallidus. The surgery is minimally invasive and the patient recovers quickly. A number of operated patients have complications related to motor and speech function, but in most cases, they are transient and disappear within a few weeks.
Involuntary movements stop typically during the first days after surgery. Non-physiological head position is adjusted more smoothly. In the majority of patients, the improvement is noticeable after 2 to 3 weeks. To shorten the term of recovery of the motor functions and eliminate the postoperative complications, the patient is prescribed an individual rehabilitation program.