Tagliati, who leads an educational course on deep brain stimulation programming every year at the American Academy of Neurology meetings, said the Movement Disorders articles define the current state of the art for this therapy for dystonia. The American Academy of Neurology is conducting a similar data review that may establish guidelines for those who treat dystonia with deep brain stimulation.
Tagliati and his counterpart at the University of California, Los Angeles Jeff M. Bronstein, MD, PhD recently led another panel of international experts in developing a consensus on key issues related to deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. Their work, with insight and guidance for practitioners, was published in Archives of Neurology last October.
Dystonia is less common than Parkinson's disease and has been more of a medical mystery, even among many movement disorders specialists. The principles of deep brain stimulation are similar for each disorder, but the devices are placed in slightly different locations. Proper placement and precise, individualized programming are critical to success, and Tagliati said many cases of seemingly "failed" therapy can be corrected through expert fine-tuning of the device, along with proper medication management.
"Doctors are taught how to measure electricity coming from the muscles or from the brain, but they know little about 'injecting' electricity as a therapy. With DBS, there was a clinical science that needed to be developed," said Tagliati, who became interested in the procedure while completing a fellowship in movement disorders with top experts in the field. He has devoted his career to advancing the science of programming of the stimulator.
"We're establishing at Cedars-Sinai a center of excellence where deep brain stimulation is viewed as a clinical science, with the latest standards of surgical
|Contact: Sandy Van|
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center