Clinical Study| Volume 20, ISSUE 11, P1520-1526, November 2013

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Lack of differential motor outcome with subthalamic nucleus region stimulation in Parkinson’s disease


      Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a viable therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The impact of subthalamic nucleus (STN) lead placement (lateral versus medial) on motor outcome, however, has not been systematically evaluated. Forty-eight patients with PD underwent STN-DBS surgery and were evaluated postoperatively for 48 weeks for motor improvement as measured by the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part III (standardized motor examination) and levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD). Postoperative MRI was used to identify the location of the active stimulating contact and motor outcome was analyzed. STN-DBS was associated with significant improvement in motor outcome as determined by a reduction in the UPDRS part III subscore from 34.44 ± 1.29 at baseline to 18.76 ± 1.06 at end visit (p < 0.0001) and a reduction in LEDD from 1721 ± 152 mg/day at baseline to 1134 ± 119 mg/day at end visit (p = 0.0024). Patients with stimulating contacts in the medial STN compared to the lateral STN did not demonstrate any significant differences in motor outcome (UPDRS, p = 0.5811; LEDD, p = 0.7341). No significant differences were found in motor outcome between patients with STN stimulation compared to stimulation of surrounding fiber tracts (p = 0.80). No significant difference in stimulation voltage was noted with respect to lead location. Our study did not find a significant effect for the location of active contact and motor outcome neither within the subregions of the STN nor between the STN and surrounding fibers. Further research is needed to better understand the neurophysiological basis for these results.


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