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Dystonia clinical trials at UC Health
3 in progress, 2 open to new patients

  • Thalamic Deep Brain Stimulation for Secondary Dystonia in Children and Young Adults

    open to eligible people ages 7-25

    Dystonia is a movement disorder seen in both children and adults that is characterized by "sustained or intermittent muscle contractions causing abnormal, often repetitive, movements, postures, or both." Secondary dystonia is far more common in pediatric populations than primary dystonia, and far more recalcitrant to standard pharmacologic and surgical treatments including Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). There exists a large unmet need to develop new therapeutics, treatment strategies, and outcome measures for pediatric secondary dystonia. The investigators are proposing to investigate the ventralis oralis posterior nucleus (Vop) of the thalamus as a new target for DBS in secondary dystonia. Prior to the development of DBS, the main surgical treatment of dystonia was thalamotomy. Although there were many different targets in the thalamus, often done in staged procedures, the most common and successful targeted nuclei was the Vop, which is traditionally thought to be the pallidal receiving area. Previous lesioning of Vop produced improvements in dystonia but intolerable side effects, especially when implanted bilaterally. However, given that secondary dystonia patients were often reported to have superior results to primary dystonia it is reasonable to believe that if the side effects can be modulated, that targeting of the Vop nucleus with DBS could be a viable alternative to Globus Pallidus interna (GPi). Given that Deep Brain Stimulation is a treatment that is inherently adjustable, it is conceivable that settings on the Deep Brain Stimulation could be adjusted to allow for clinical benefit with minimal side effects. Indeed, there have been several scattered successful case reports attesting to this possibility.

    at UCSF

  • The Motor Network in Parkinson's Disease: Mechanisms of Therapy

    open to eligible people ages 21-75

    This is an exploratory pilot study to identify neural correlates of specific motor signs in Parkinson's disease (PD) and dystonia, using a novel totally implanted neural interface that senses brain activity as well as delivering therapeutic stimulation. Parkinson's disease and isolated dystonia patients will be implanted unilaterally or bilaterally with a totally internalized bidirectional neural interface, Medtronic Summit RC+S. This study includes three populations: ten PD patients undergoing deep brain stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus (STN), ten PD patients with a globus pallidus (GPi) target and five dystonia patients. All groups will test a variety of strategies for feedback-controlled deep brain stimulation. Only the STN patients will undergo a blinded, small pilot clinical trial of closed-loop stimulation for thirty days.

    at UCSF

  • Chronic Effects of DBS in Parkinson's Disease and Dystonia

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    The purpose of this study is to use an investigational device to record brain activity for 12-24 months following surgical implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems. The goal of the study is better understanding of brain activity in movement disorders and how they relate to DBS, not to bring new devices to market.

    at UCSF

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