University of Oulu

Lahtinen, M., Helander, H., Vieira, P., Uusimaa, J., & Katisko, J. (2022). Starting a DBS service for children: It’s not the latitude but the attitude - Establishment of the paediatric DBS centre in Northern Finland. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, 36, 107–114.

Starting a DBS service for children : it’s not the latitude but the attitude — establishment of the paediatric DBS centre in Northern Finland

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Author: Lahtinen, Maija1,2; Helander, Heli3,4; Vieira, Päivi3,4;
Organizations: 1Oulu Research Group of Advanced Surgical Technologies and Physics - ORGASTP, Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Neurosurgery, Operative Care Unit, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
3PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland, Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Clinic for Children and Adolescents, Paediatric Neurology Unit, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-03-06


Objective: Paediatric movement disorder patients can benefit from deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment and it should be offered in a timely manner. In this paper we describe our experience establishing a DBS service for paediatric patients.

Methods: We set out to establish a paediatric DBS (pDBS) procedure in Oulu University Hospital in northern Finland, where up to this point DBS treatment for movement disorders had been available for adult patients. Collaboration with experienced centres aided in the process.

Results: A multidisciplinary team was assembled and a systematic protocol for patient evaluation and treatment was created, with attention to special features of the regional health care system. All of our first paediatric patients had very severe movement disorders, which is typical for a new DBS centre. The patients benefitted from pDBS treatment despite variable aetiologies of movement disorders, which included cerebral palsy and rare genetic disorders with variants in PDE10A, TPK1 and ARX. We also present our high-quality paediatric MR-imaging protocol with tractography.

Conclusions: Establishment of a pDBS centre requires expertise in classification of paediatric movement disorders, longstanding experience in adult DBS and a committed multidisciplinary team. Besides high-quality imaging and a skilled neurosurgery team, careful patient selection, realistic treatment goals and experience in rehabilitation are imperative in pDBS treatment.

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Series: European journal of paediatric neurology
ISSN: 1090-3798
ISSN-E: 1532-2130
ISSN-L: 1090-3798
Volume: 36
Pages: 107 - 114
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2021.12.003
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This work was supported by the Paediatric Research Foundation, Finland (JU), Special State Grants for Health Research, Oulu Uni- versity Hospital, Finland (JU and JK) and the Terttu Foundation, Oulu University Hospital, Finland (JK).
Copyright information: © 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license