Observation and modeling of deep brain stimulation electrode depth in the pallidal target of the developing brain

Daniel E. Lumsden, Jonathan Ashmore, Geoffrey Charles-Edwards, Richard Selway, Jean Pierre Lin, Keyoumars Ashkan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: It is unclear how brain growth with age affects electrode position in relation to target for children undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery. We aimed to model projected change in the distance between the entry point of the electrode into the brain and target during growth to adulthood.

METHODS: Modeling was performed using a neurodevelopmental magnetic resonance imaging database of age-specific templates in 6-month increments from 4 to 18 years of age. Coordinates were chosen for a set of entry points into both cerebral hemispheres and target positions within the globus pallidus internus on the youngest magnetic resonance imaging template. The youngest template was nonlinearly registered to the older templates, and the transformations generated by these registrations were applied to the original coordinates of entry and target positions, mapping these positions with increasing age. Euclidean geometry was used to calculate the distance between projected electrode entry and target with increasing age.

RESULTS: A projected increase in distance between entry point and target of 5-10 mm was found from age 4 to 18 years. Most change appeared to occur before 7 years of age, after which minimal change in distance was found.

CONCLUSIONS: Electrodes inserted during deep brain stimulation surgery are tethered at the point of entry to the skull. Brain growth, which could result in a relative retraction with respect to the original target position, appears to occur before 7 years of age, suggesting careful monitoring is needed for children undergoing implantation before this age. Reengineering of electrode design could avoid reimplantation surgery in young children undergoing deep brain stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-446
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Developing brain
  • Dystonia
  • Implanted electrode
  • Pallidum


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