In this review, the available evidence to guide clinicians regarding
eligibility for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the main conditions in which
these forms of therapy are generally indicated—Parkinson’s disease (PD),
tremor, and dystonia—is presented. In general, the literature shows that DBS
is effective for PD, essential tremor, and idiopathic dystonia. In these
cases, key points in patient selection must include the level of disability
and inability to manage symptoms using the best available medical therapy.
Results are, however, still not optimal when dealing with other aetiologies,
such as secondary tremors and symptomatic dystonia. Also, in PD, issues such
as age and neuropsychiatric profile are still debatable parameters. Overall,
currently available literature is able to guide physicians on basic aspects
of patient selection and indications for DBS; however, a few points are
still debatable and controversial. These issues should be refined and
clarified in future studies.