Deep brain stimulation lead removal in Tourette syndrome

Wissam Deeb*, Albert F. G. Leentjens, Alon Y. Mogilner, Domenico Servello, Fangang Meng, Jianguo Zhang, Tommaso Francesco Galbiati, Michael S. Okun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Introduction: Tourette syndrome (TS) is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder. A small percentage of individuals with TS can experience persistent severe, refractory, and impairing tics. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been increasingly used for symptom management, especially in these settings. In this article, we aim to evaluate the rate and the reasons for removal of DBS hardware in TS patients.

Methods: Data was analyzed from patients enrolled in the Tourette Association of America's International Tourette Syndrome Registry and Database.

Results: Fifteen of 269 (5.6%) patients required removal of their DBS systems. The mean age at explantation was 33.8 years. In these cases we observed a rate of 1.9 explantations per year of follow up from implantation. None of the removals took place in the immediate post-operative period. Infection was the most common cause (46.7%). Only one patient received explantation for tic resolution. There were no significant associations between explantation and the presence of specific psychiatric comorbidities, including OCD, depression, anxiety, or ADHD.

Discussion: The rate of removal of 5.6% was lower than the previously reported rate in the TS DBS literature. Infections accounted for nearly half of the TS DBS explantations in this cohort. There was no relationship to psychiatric comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism & Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Complications

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