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Deep-brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease: long-term efficacy and safety - What happened this year?

Abstract : PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Deep-brain high-frequency stimulation of the thalamus was introduced in 1987 to treat tremor, and was applied in 1993 to the subthalamic nucleus to treat advanced Parkinson's disease. High-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus has become the surgical therapy of choice. This review concentrates on recent data on long-term results and side-effects, after 12 years of practice using this technique. RECENT FINDINGS: A literature search produced 260 papers from February 2004 to March 2005. The stable efficacy of high-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus on Parkinson's disease motor symptoms is confirmed. Evidence for a neuroprotective effect is still lacking. There are transient neuropsychological disturbances, but no cognitive impairment over time. Complications are rare and mild, mortality is extremely low and hardware complications are highly variable. SUMMARY: The safety and innocuity of the method legitimizes earlier operations, before impairment of the quality of life. Depression and suicide are related to pre-existing co-morbidities and multifactorial causes that could become contraindications. Neuropsychological effects should be documented, to determine whether they are caused by an alteration of high-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, or inappropriate electrode placement. There is an urgent need for the organization of research and reports, and no need to report small series replicating well-established conclusions. Clinical reports should concentrate on unobserved effects in relation to causative parameters, based on the precise location of electrodes, and on clinical reports comparable between teams and on methods to optimize and facilitate the tuning of parameters and postoperative evaluations in order to make this treatment easier to provide for the neurologist.
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Contributor : Jean-Paul Issartel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - 6:08:59 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 3:45:37 AM


  • HAL Id : inserm-00390824, version 1
  • PUBMED : 16280671



Alim-Louis Benabid, Stephan Chabardès, Eric Seigneuret. Deep-brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease: long-term efficacy and safety - What happened this year?. Current Opinion in Neurology, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2005, 18 (6), pp.623-30. ⟨inserm-00390824⟩



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