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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease: Still Effective After More Than 8 Years

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Background: Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) is well established and the most effective treatment for advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known of the long-term effects.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the long-term effects of STN-DBS in PD and evaluate the effect of reprogramming after more than 8 years of treatment.

Methods: A total of 82 patients underwent surgery in Copenhagen between 2001 and 2008. Before surgery and at 8 to 15 years follow-up, the patients were rated with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) with and without stimulation and medicine. Furthermore, at long-term follow-up, the patients were offered a systemic reprogramming of the stimulation settings. Data from patients' medical records were collected. The mean (range) age at surgery was 60 (42-78) years, and the duration of disease was 13 (5-25) years. A total of 30 patients completed the long-term follow-up.

Results: The mean reduction of the motor UPDRS by medication before surgery was 52%. The improvement of motor UPDRS with stimulation alone compared with motor UPDRS with neither stimulation nor medication was 61% at 1 year and 39% at 8 to 15 years after surgery (before reprogramming). Compared with before surgery, medication was reduced by 55% after 1 year and 44% after 8 to 15 years. After reprogramming, most patients improved.

Conclusions: STN-DBS remains effective in the long run, with a sustained reduction of medication in the 30 of 82 patients available for long-term follow-up. Reprogramming is effective even in the late stages of PD and after many years of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement Disorders Clinical Practice
Volume7
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)788-796
Number of pages9
ISSN2330-1619
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

    Research areas

  • deep brain stimulation, long-term follow-up, Parkinson's disease, subthalamic nucleus

ID: 61346124