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Thalamotomy, DBS Can Cause Speech Problems

Mov Disord; ePub 2017 Jan 25; Alomar, King, et al

Both lesioning and stimulation thalamic surgeries for the treatment of various movement disorders produce adverse effects on speech, according to a recent study. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed using 9 medical studies databases. Researchers retrieved studies between 1960 and September 2014. They found:

  • Of a total of 2,320 patients, 19.8% had speech difficulty after thalamotomy.
  • Speech difficulty occurred in 15% of those treated unilaterally and 40.6% of those treated bilaterally.
  • Speech impairment was noticed 2- to 3-fold more commonly after left-sided procedures (40.7% vs 15.2%).
  • Of the 572 patients that underwent DBS, 19.4% experienced speech difficulty.
  • Subgroup analysis revealed that this complication occurs in 10.2% of patients treated unilaterally and 34.6% treated bilaterally.
  • After thalamotomy, the risk was higher in Parkinson patients compared to patients with essential tremor: 19.8% vs 4.5% in the unilateral group and 42.5% vs 13.9% in the bilateral group.
  • After DBS, this rate was higher in essential tremor patients.

Citation:

Alomar S, King NK, Tam J, Bari AA, Hamani C, Lozeno AM. Speech and language adverse effects after thalamotomy and deep brain stimulation in patients with movement disorders: A meta-analysis. [Published online ahead of print January 25, 2017]. Mov Disord. doi:10.1002/mds.26924.