Scientific article

Subthalamic nucleus or internal pallidal stimulation in young onset Parkinson's disease

Published inBrain, vol. 121 ( Pt 3), p. 451-457
Publication date1998

The aim of this study was to compare, retrospectively, the value of chronic bilateral stimulation of the internal globus pallidus (GPi) and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients with young onset Parkinson's disease. We selected 13 consecutive patients with similar characteristics at the time of surgery: age at onset < 40 years, disabling motor fluctuations (Hoehn and Yahr stage 4 or 5 in off-drug phases) and levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LID). Eight patients were operated on in the STN and five in the GPi. The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), timed motor tests and a LID scale were compared in on- and off-drug conditions before surgery and 6 months after surgery on stimulation using the chronic electrical parameters found to improve best the motor state of the individual patient, without adverse effects. In off-drug phases, the motor score of the UPDRS was improved by 71% with STN stimulation and by 39% with GPi stimulation on average. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Whereas rigidity and tremor showed good improvement in both groups, the decrease in the akinesia score was more pronounced in the STN group. In the STN group, the improvement of all motor symptoms was very close, or equal, to the best levodopa response. Thus the levodopa test was predictive of outcome. The improvement in off-drug period motor handicap allowed a decrease in the levodopa-equivalent dose only in the STN group (-56%). The voltage, frequency and pulse width used for chronic stimulation were lower in the STN group. In the on-drug phases there was a marked improvement in LID in the GPi group, as measured by the dyskinesias score during an acute levodopa test, whereas there was only a small decrease in the STN group (P < 0.05). However, in the long term, the reduction of levodopa dosage in the STN group led to an indirect reduction of LID similar to that in the GPi group during activities of everyday life. In conclusion, the overall results favour the neurosurgical treatment of Parkinson's disease by stimulating the STN rather than the GPi.

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced/physiopathology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus/physiopathology/surgery
  • Humans
  • Levodopa/adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease/drug therapy/epidemiology/physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thalamic Nuclei/physiopathology/surgery
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
KRACK, Paul et al. Subthalamic nucleus or internal pallidal stimulation in young onset Parkinson’s disease. In: Brain, 1998, vol. 121 ( Pt 3), p. 451–457.
ISSN of the journal0006-8950

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