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Nervenarzt. 2011 Apr;82(4):462-7. doi: 10.1007/s00115-010-3092-7.

[Rehabilitation of Parkinson's patients with deep brain stimulation. Experiences of the Neurological Rehabilitation Center Godeshöhe].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Neurologisches Rehabilitationszentrum Godeshöhe, Waldstraße 2-10, 53177, Bonn.



Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has become an important therapeutic option in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). An increasing number of patients are referred for hospital rehabilitation after initial programming. The role of further DBS and medication adjustments for this rehabilitation therapy is uncertain.


This study was a retrospective analysis of a hospital rehabilitation program with a systematic algorithm to improve DBS efficacy in PD patients referred within 3 months after electrode implantation. This study analyzed (1) changes of stimulation parameters and medication and (2) changes in the performance of activities of daily living as measured by the Barthel index.


After an average of 20.4±10.7 days following surgery 95 PD patients were hospitalized for an average rehabilitation period of 29.0±11.2 days. Technical dysfunctions were found in 3 (3.1%) patients and a bilateral electrode dislocation in 1 (1.1%) patient. Stimulation parameters were adjusted on 7.3±4.0 days, sometimes with several adjustments on the same day. Until discharge the stimulation amplitude was significantly increased from 2.1±0.8 V to 3.0±0.8 V. Moreover, in 70 (73.7%) patients active stimulation contacts were changed. The mean levodopa equivalent dosage decreased from 529±290 mg/die to 300±277 mg/die. The Barthel index increased significantly by 10.3±12.4 points.


Further DBS and medication adjustments play an important role for hospital rehabilitation of PD patients after initial DBS programming in DBS centers.

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