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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.



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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