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JIMD Rep. 2015;15:113-6. doi: 10.1007/8904_2014_305. Epub 2014 Apr 10.

Deep brain stimulation and dantrolene for secondary dystonia in x-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.

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Division of Biochemical Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1M9, Canada.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used to treat secondary dystonias caused by inborn errors of metabolism with varying degrees of effectiveness. Here we report for the first time the application of DBS as treatment for secondary dystonia in a 22-year-old male with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD). The disease manifested at age 6 with ADHD, tics, and dystonic gait, and deteriorated to loss of ambulation by age 11, and speech difficulties, seizures, and characteristic adrenal insufficiency by age 16. DBS in the globus pallidus internus was commenced at age 18. However, after 25 months, no improvement in dystonia was observed (Burke-Fahn-Marsden (BFM) scores of 65.5 and 62 and disability scores of 28 and 26, pre- and post-DBS, respectively) and the DBS device was removed. Treatment with dantrolene reduced skeletal muscle tone and improved movement (Global Dystonia Rating Scores from 5 to 1 and BFM score 42). Therefore, we conclude that DBS was a safe but ineffective intervention in our case with long-standing dystonia, whereas treatment of spasticity with dantrolene did improve the movement disorder in this young man with X-ALD.

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