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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e38020. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038020. Epub 2012 May 30.

Weight gain is associated with medial contact site of subthalamic stimulation in Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.


The aim of our study was to assess changes in body-weight in relation to active electrode contact position in the subthalamic nucleus. Regular body weight measurements were done in 20 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease within a period of 18 months after implantation. T1-weighted (1.5T) magnetic resonance images were used to determine electrode position in the subthalamic nucleus and the Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS-III) was used for motor assessment. The distance of the contacts from the wall of the third ventricle in the mediolateral direction inversely correlated with weight gain (r = -0.55, p<0.01) and with neurostimulation-related motor condition expressed as the contralateral hemi-body UPDRS-III (r = -0.42, p<0.01). Patients with at least one contact within 9.3 mm of the wall experienced significantly greater weight gain (9.4 ± (SD)4.4 kg, N = 11) than those with both contacts located laterally (3.9 ± 2.7 kg, N = 9) (p<0.001). The position of the active contact is critical not only for motor outcome but is also associated with weight gain, suggesting a regional effect of subthalamic stimulation on adjacent structures involved in the central regulation of energy balance, food intake or reward.

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