Globus pallidus deep brain stimulation for refractory idiopathic restless legs syndrome

William G. Ondo, Joseph Jankovic, Richard Simpson, Joohi Jimenez-Shahed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: The neuroanatomic substrate of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is unknown. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) and other targets is used to treat Parkinson's disease (PD), and RLS symptoms associated with PD have been reported to improve when GPi DBS is used in that population. We wish to test whether GPi DBS can improve idiopathic RLS. Method: We implanted bilateral GPi DBS in a subject with refractory idiopathic RLS. Results: The GPi cells recordings were dissimilar to those of PD. Clinically, the patient had a good, but far from complete, response, which more prominently affected the urge to move and involuntary movements than the painful component. Conclusion: DBS for RLS remains investigational.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1202-1204
Number of pages3
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • DBS
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Globus pallidus internus
  • Neurophysiology
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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