Bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation in a parkinsonian patient with preoperative deficits in speech and cognition: persistent improvement in mobility but increased dependency: a case study

Mov Disord. 2000 Jan;15(1):136-9. doi: 10.1002/1531-8257(200001)15:1<136::aid-mds1021>;2-5.


We report a patient with advanced Parkinson's disease, including severe and frequent off periods with freezing of gait, moderate dysphonia, and some cognitive impairment, who underwent bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation. The patient was followed for 1 year after surgery, showing persistent good mobility without off periods and without freezing, which reverted completely when stopping the stimulation. There was deterioration of cognition as well as increased aphonia and drooling, all of which remained when the stimulation was turned off. The striking improvement in motor symptoms following STN stimulation was not paralleled by improvement in disability, probably as a result of a cognitive decline, suggesting a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease with dementia. We conclude that chronic STN stimulation is efficient in alleviating akinetic motor symptoms including gait freezing; this surgery should be offered before patients start to exhibit speech or cognitive disturbances.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Dementia / physiopathology
  • Dementia / therapy*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Dyskinesias / physiopathology
  • Dyskinesias / therapy
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiopathology*
  • Voice Disorders / physiopathology
  • Voice Disorders / therapy*