Article révisé par les pairs
|Deep brain stimulation of the thalamus (and especially the ventral intermediate nucleus) does not significantly improve a drug-resistant, disabling cerebellar tremor. The dentato-rubro-olivary tract (Guillain-Mollaret triangle, including the red nucleus) is a subcortical loop that is critically involved in tremor genesis.We report the case of a 48-year-old female patient presenting with generalized cerebellar tremor caused by alcohol-related cerebellar degeneration. Resistance to pharmacological treatment and the severity of the symptoms prompted us to investigate the effects of bilateral deep brain stimulation of the red nucleus. Intra-operative microrecordings of the red nucleus revealed intense, irregular, tonic background activity but no rhythmic components that were synchronous with upper limb tremor. The postural component of the cerebellar tremor disappeared during insertion of the macro-electrodes and for a few minutes after stimulation, with no changes in the intentional (kinetic) component. Stimulation per se did not reduce postural or intentional tremor and was associated with dysautonomic symptoms (the voltage threshold for which was inversed related to the stimulation frequency). Our observations suggest that the red nucleus is (1) an important centre for the genesis of cerebellar tremor and thus (2) a possible target for drug-refractory tremor. Future research must determine how neuromodulation of the red nucleus can best be implemented in patients with cerebellar degeneration. © Springer Science+Business Media 2014.