According to FDA regulations, children who are 7 years or older are eligible to be considered for the device. Deep brain stimulation can be used to treat several pediatric movement disorder conditions including:
- Chorea – a movement disorder that causes uncontrolled wiggling or flowing movements
- Dystonia – a movement disorder that causes twisting, often painful muscle contractions and abnormal postures
- Myoclonus – a movement disorder that causes quick, involuntary muscle jerks
- Tremors – rhythmic shaking that can affect the arms, feet, hands, head or legs
The best candidates are children whose joints are not already stuck in one position from their movement disorder.
Physicians will prescribe other therapies or medications first before recommending deep brain stimulation as a treatment. Your child will meet with a team led by pediatric neurologist Dr. Jeff Waugh when discussing the surgery and deep brain stimulation. They also will undergo neuropsychological testing and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before surgery.