Do doctors still perform lesioning brain surgeries on people with dystonia?


Doctors use deep brain stimulation on people with dystonia rather than lesioning brain surgery. In the fifties and sixties, removal of the thalami of the brain was performed but left people with unacceptable complications as a result, such as paralysis, spasticity, further difficulty with gait, inability to swallow and difficulty with speech. Therefore this is no longer performed.

Previously, surgically creating permanent lesions in the brain was the only available treatment for severe cases of generalized dystonia. Since the development of deep brain stimulation, lesioning brain surgeries are done less frequently. However, these approaches are not obsolete and may be options for some patients, especially given the vast advancements in brain imaging and targeting areas of the brain with greater precision.

Continue Learning about Dystonia


When your muscles contract involuntarily, the condition is called dystonia. Dystonia causes a twisting or clenching of whatever body part is affected. For example, when you have a stroke, the affected arm and hand may be clenched ...

and held in a strange position. Dystonia can be very mild or very severe. It can make your life very difficult and this can lead to frustration, depression or anxiety. See your doctor to treat your symptoms and talk over your frustrations.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.