Objective clinical registration of tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity during awake stereotactic neurosurgery: a scoping review

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Tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity are incapacitating motor symptoms that can be suppressed with stereotactic neurosurgical treatment like deep brain stimulation (DBS) and ablative surgery (e.g., thalamotomy, pallidotomy). Traditionally, clinicians rely on clinical rating scales for intraoperative evaluation of these motor symptoms during awake stereotactic neurosurgery. However, these clinical scales have a relatively high inter-rater variability and rely on experienced raters. Therefore, objective registration (e.g., using movement sensors) is a reasonable extension for intraoperative assessment of tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity. The main goal of this scoping review is to provide an overview of electronic motor measurements during awake stereotactic neurosurgery. The protocol was based on the PRISMA extension for scoping reviews. After a systematic database search (PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science), articles were screened for relevance. Hundred-and-three articles were subject to detailed screening. Key clinical and technical information was extracted. The inclusion criteria encompassed use of electronic motor measurements during stereotactic neurosurgery performed under local anesthesia. Twenty-three articles were included. These studies had various objectives, including correlating sensor-based outcome measures to clinical scores, identifying optimal DBS electrode positions, and translating clinical assessments to objective assessments. The studies were highly heterogeneous in device choice, sensor location, measurement protocol, design, outcome measures, and data analysis. This review shows that intraoperative quantification of motor symptoms is still limited by variable signal analysis techniques and lacking standardized measurement protocols. However, electronic motor measurements can complement visual evaluations and provide objective confirmation of correct placement of the DBS electrode and/or lesioning. On the long term, this might benefit patient outcomes and provide reliable outcome measures in scientific research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
Number of pages14
JournalNeurosurgical review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14-Feb-2024


  • Humans
  • Tremor/diagnosis
  • Hypokinesia
  • Neurosurgery
  • Wakefulness
  • Deep Brain Stimulation/methods
  • Treatment Outcome

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