Research Insights

Long-term effects of pallidal or subthalamic deep brain stimulation on quality of life in Parkinson’s disease.

Volkmann, J., Albanese, A., Kulisevsky, J., Tornqvist, A., Houeto, J., Pidoux, B., Bonnet, A., Mendes, A., Benabid, A., Fraix, V., Blercom, N.V., Xie, J., Obeso, J., Rodrigues-Oroz, M.C., Guridi, J., Schnitzler, A., Timmermann, L., Gironell, A., Molet, J., Pascual-Sedano, B., Rehncrona, S., Moro, E., Lang, A., Lozano, A.M., Bentivoglio, A.R., Scerrati, M., Contarino, M.F., Romito, L., Janssens, M., Agid, Y. (2009) Long-term effects of pallidal or subthalamic deep brain stimulation on quality of life in Parkinson’s disease. , 24(8): 1154-61

Background of the Study

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective surgical treatment used to improve motor symptoms in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, despite its potential therapeutic value, the treatment has two key limitations:

  • DBS cannot cure or stop the progression of PD
  • DBS, like any brain surgery, is a risky procedure with possible adverse effects.

As a result, it is important to ensure that the benefits of DBS outweigh the potential adverse effects and, in the long run, have an overall positive impact on patient quality of life.

Accordingly, an international team of researchers from Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, Canada, and the Netherlands conducted a recent study to evaluate how the leading types of DBS therapies affect quality of life in patients with advanced PD. The study found that while both subthalamic DBS (STN-DBS) and internal pallidum DBS (GPi-DBS) led to significant early improvements in patient quality of life, many of these initial benefits diminished after three years.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to assess the longterm impact of DBS on patient quality of life by evaluating a group of patients who have been followed for at least 3 years after STN-DBS or GPi-DBS surgery.

Click here to download a PDF of the complete study.

Click here to read the abstract.

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