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Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2009 Nov;2(6):20-8. doi: 10.1177/1756285609339382.

Deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Neurology, Center for Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation, Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Germany, Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Germany.


During the last 15 years deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been established as a highly-effective therapy for advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). Patient selection, stereotactic implantation, postoperative stimulator programming and patient care requires a multi-disciplinary team including movement disorders specialists in neurology and functional neurosurgery. To treat medically refractory levodopa-induced motor complications or resistant tremor the preferred target for high-frequency DBS is the subthalamic nucleus (STN). STN-DBS results in significant reduction of dyskinesias and dopaminergic medication, improvement of all cardinal motor symptoms with sustained long-term benefits, and significant improvement of quality of life when compared with best medical treatment. These benefits have to be weighed against potential surgery-related adverse events, device-related complications, and stimulus-induced side effects. The mean disease duration before initiating DBS in PD is currently about 13 years. It is presently investigated whether the optimal timing for implantation may be at an earlier disease-stage to prevent psychosocial decline and to maintain quality of life for a longer period of time.


DBS; GPi; Parkinson's disease; STN; VIM; deep brain stimulation; subthalamic nucleus

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