Chronic inhibition of the subthalamic nucleus in Parkinson's disease

Martin Krause*, Wolfgang Fogel, Petra Mayer, Manja Kloss, Volker Tronnier

*Corresponding author for this work
58 Citations (Scopus)


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has become a popular treatment option for patients suffering from severe Parkinson's disease (PD). Yet the long-term outcome of subthalamic DBS is unknown. A total of 27 patients suffering from severe PD underwent bilateral stereotactic implantation of high-frequency stimulators in the STN. Before surgery and at least annually after surgery they were examined with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). This study presents the results of a mean 30 months (range 23 to 55) follow-up of these patients. We found stable and significant off medication improvement of motor function by DBS (between 40% and 44% in the UPDRS part III). While on medication there was no significant change in the motor function by DBS. UPDRS part III worsened gradually during the follow-up period, suggesting disease progression. Thirty months postsurgery the UPDRS part II (ADL) was still improved by 17%. There was a lasting decrease in fluctuations by more than 50%, and dyskinesias were reduced by about 70%. Freezing was reduced significantly from 2.2 in the UPDRS part II to 1.2 at the endpoint. The daily levodopa-equivalent dose was reduced by 39% at 12 months and by 30% at 30 months after STN stimulator implantation. Subthalamic DBS improves sustainable motor function in patients with severe Parkinson's disease and leads to a lasting reduction of medication. Limitations of this procedure were found for disturbances of speech and swallowing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 15.04.2004


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