Deep brain stimulation for tics and Tourette's syndrome

Insufficient evidence – there either hasn’t been any research on this treatment option or there is a small amount of evidence with unclear conclusions.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a type of neurosurgery that involves placing electrodes at certain points in the brain. DBS has only been used as an experimental treatment for adults with very severe Tourette’s syndrome that has not improved after other types of treatment. Although the results have been hopeful, the research is still in its early stages and it is still not clear whether this will become an available treatment option.

It is an invasive treatment which carries the risks of surgery (e.g. bleeding and infection) and there are potential side-effects related to the stimulation (e.g. sedation, anxiety, altered mood, changes in sexual function). It is not offered as a treatment for children and young people.

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.


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