New neurosurgical approaches for tremor and Parkinson's disease

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Purpose of review

The objective of this review is to gather the newest advances in the surgical treatment of tremor and Parkinson's disease. We will briefly discuss the potential applications of the new technologies of deep brain stimulation (DBS), and we will focus on MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS).

Recent findings

Novel DBS devices are being progressively adopted, particularly electrodes allowing a longer stimulating surface (suitable for multiple targets stimulation) and current radial steering (to minimize side effects of stimulation). New implantable pulse generators are also able to record neurons and are generating enough knowledge to advance the implementation of adaptive (closed-loop) DBS.

Recent findings

Over the last years, ‘minimally-invasive’ neurosurgical approaches for the treatment of movement disorders have been developed: gamma knife radiosurgery and MRgFUS. Uncontrolled and recent controlled studies have shown the benefits of MRgFUS targeting the thalamus and pallidus for the treatment of tremor and Parkinson's disease.


The initial clinical data are certainly promising and have expanded the current portfolio of neurosurgical treatments of movement disorders. Many issues are yet to be addressed, particularly safety of MRgFUS-and how these new treatments compare with the existing ones.

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