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Ann Neurol. 2009 May;65(5):586-95. doi: 10.1002/ana.21596.

Cognition and mood in Parkinson's disease in subthalamic nucleus versus globus pallidus interna deep brain stimulation: the COMPARE trial.

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  • 1Movement Disorders Center, University of Florida, McKnight Brain Institute, College of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA. okun@neurology.ufl.edu



Our aim was to compare in a prospective blinded study the cognitive and mood effects of subthalamic nucleus (STN) vs. globus pallidus interna (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson disease.


Fifty-two subjects were randomized to unilateral STN or GPi DBS. The co-primary outcome measures were the Visual Analog Mood Scale, and verbal fluency (semantic and letter) at 7 months post-DBS in the optimal setting compared to pre-DBS. At 7 months post-DBS, subjects were tested in four randomized/counterbalanced conditions (optimal, ventral, dorsal, and off DBS).


Forty-five subjects (23 GPi, 22 STN) completed the protocol. The study revealed no difference between STN and GPi DBS in the change of co-primary mood and cognitive outcomes pre- to post-DBS in the optimal setting (Hotelling's T(2) test: p = 0.16 and 0.08 respectively). Subjects in both targets were less "happy", less "energetic" and more "confused" when stimulated ventrally. Comparison of the other 3 DBS conditions to pre-DBS showed a larger deterioration of letter verbal fluency in STN, especially when off DBS. There was no difference in UPDRS motor improvement between targets.


There were no significant differences in the co-primary outcome measures (mood and cognition) between STN and GPi in the optimal DBS state. Adverse mood effects occurred ventrally in both targets. A worsening of letter verbal fluency was seen in STN. The persistence of deterioration in verbal fluency in the off STN DBS state was suggestive of a surgical rather than a stimulation-induced effect. Similar motor improvement were observed with both STN and GPi DBS.

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