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J Neurosurg. 2003 Sep;99(3):566-71.

Possible necessity for deep brain stimulation of both the ventralis intermedius and subthalamic nuclei to resolve Holmes tremor. Case report.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California 94305-5327, USA.


Holmes tremor is characterized by resting, postural, and intention tremor. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of both the nucleus ventralis intermedius (Vim) and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) may be required to control these three tremor components. A 79-year-old man presented with a long-standing combination of resting, postural, and intention tremor, which was associated with severe disability and was resistant to medical treatment. Neuroimaging studies failed to reveal areas of discrete brain damage. A DBS device was placed in the Vim and produced an improvement in both the intention and postural tremor, but there was residual resting tremor, as demonstrated by clinical observation and quantitative tremor analysis. Placement of an additional DBS device in the STN resolved the resting tremor. Stimulation of the Vim or STN alone failed to produce global resolution of mixed tremor, whereas combined Vim-STN stimulation produced global relief without creating noticeable side effects. Combined Vim-STN stimulation can thus be a safe and effective treatment for Holmes tremor.

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