Postural tremor suppression is dependent on thalamic stimulation frequency

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) reduces tremor in people with essential tremor (ET), yet the dependence of tremor suppression on stimulation frequency remains unclear. To address this issue, we tested tremor suppression for three 15-second measurements during a variety of stimulation frequencies in 11 ET patients treated with VIM DBS. Stimulation frequencies at or above 100 Hz produced maximal benefit; higher frequencies provided no additional benefit. If this short-term measure predicts long-term response in routine activities at home, then this stimulation frequency setting will prolong battery half-life compared to higher frequency settings. These findings suggest that ET patients treated with VIM DBS may receive adequate benefit from stimulation frequencies about 100 Hz and this setting compared to commonly used higher settings will prolong battery life of surgically implanted pulse generators. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society

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