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More MS news articles for June 2003

Costs of thalamic deep brain stimulation for movement disorders in patients with multiple sclerosis

Br J Neurosurg. 2003 Feb;17(1):40-5
Hooper J, Whittle IR.
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK.

Several studies have shown that thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) reduces tremor and improves hand performance in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The purpose of this paper is to describe the cost implications of DBS in MS patients and to highlight postoperative medical requirements that can be associated with this therapy.

In a prospective study of thalamic DBS in MS patients the mean equipment costs were pounds 4769 (median pounds 7010, Medtronic, 1998 prices); mean neurosurgical inpatient costs per operated patient (n = 15) were pounds 4848 (range pounds 1982-8920, median pounds 5110); and mean in-patient postoperative rehabilitation cost pounds 4602 (range pounds 0-32,225, median pounds 1783).

In addition there were transport and follow up costs.

Mean neurosurgical inpatient stay following stereotactic DBS implantation was 15 days (median 12 days); and mean inpatient, postoperative rehabilitation stay 54 days (median 25 days).

Although there were significant improvements in hand function and tremor reduction at 12 months postoperation, the level of patient performance in activities of daily living, their perception of their handicap and ipse facto the amount of home support required were unchanged from preoperative levels.

This study has highlighted significant unforeseen medical requirements and costs that can occur in MS patients who have thalamic DBS surgery.