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Neurology. 2006 Jun 27;66(12):1830-6.

Neuropsychological effects of bilateral STN stimulation in Parkinson disease: a controlled study.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. h.m.smeding@amc.uva.nl



To evaluate the cognitive and behavioral effects of bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation in patients with Parkinson disease (PD).


The authors included 103 patients; 99 patients were evaluated 6 months after surgery. A control group of 39 patients with PD was formed and 36 patients were evaluated 6 months later. At baseline and at follow-up we administered neuropsychological tests of language, memory, visuospatial function, mental speed, and executive functions. A depression rating scale, a quality of life scale, self and proxy ratings of memory and dysexecutive symptoms, and a neuropsychiatric interview were also administered.


Six months after surgery, the STN group showed a larger decline than the control group on measures of verbal fluency, color naming, selective attention, and verbal memory. Moreover, the STN group showed a decrease in positive affect, and an increase in emotional lability and cognitive complaints. On the other hand, the STN group showed an increase in quality of life and a slight decrease in depressive symptoms. Nine percent of the STN patients had psychiatric complications (vs 3% of controls).


Bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation has an adverse effect on executive functions with implications for daily life of the patients and their relatives.

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