Sustained Medication Reduction Following Unilateral VIM Thalamic Stimulation for Essential Tremor
Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review and telephone interviews on 34 consecutive patients who had been diagnosed with ET, and who had undergone unilateral DBS surgery.
Results: Of the 34 patients in our cohort, 31 patients (91%) completely stopped all anti-tremor medications either before surgery (21 patients, 62%) or in the year following DBS surgery (10 patients, 29%). Patients who discontinued tremor medications before DBS surgery did so because their tremors either became refractory to anti-tremor medication, or they developed adverse events to tremor medications. Patients who stopped tremor medications after DBS surgery did so due to sufficient tremor control. Only three patients (9%) who were taking tremor medications at the time of surgery continued the use of a beta-blocker post-operatively for the purpose of hypertension management in all cases.
Discussion: The data from this study indicate that medication cessation is common following unilateral DBS for ET.