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Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2012;52(7):470-4.

Spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of abnormal posture and gait disorder in patients with Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.


Patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) often present with axial symptoms, including abnormal posture, postural instability, and gait disorder. Although spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is effective for pain, little is known about the effect of SCS on motor function in PD patients. The present study investigated the effect of SCS on posture and gait in 15 PD patients, 5 men and 10 women aged 63-79 years (mean 71.1 years), with low back pain and leg pain who received SCS. A visual analog scale (VAS) was used for pain evaluation pre- and postoperatively. The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, Timed Up and Go tests, and Timed 10-Meter Walk tests were used to evaluate motor function and activities of daily living of patients. Preoperative mean VAS score was 8.9 (range 7.8-10), which showed significant postoperative improvement at 3 months to mean VAS score of 2.0 (range 0-3.3). The improvements in VAS scores persisted at 12 months after surgery with mean VAS score of 2.3 (range 0-4). Posture and postural stability motor subscores were improved at 3 months after SCS, and gait had significantly improved at 3 months and 1 year after surgery. Timed 10-Meter Walk tests also demonstrated that patient gait was significantly improved at 3 months and 12 months after surgery. Most advanced stage PD patients suffer considerable pain that causes abnormal posture and gait disturbance. SCS is expected to lead to both amelioration of pain and improvement of motor function in such patients.

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