Bilateral subthalamic stimulation monotherapy in advanced Parkinson's disease: long-term follow-up of patients

Mov Disord. 2002 Jan;17(1):125-32. doi: 10.1002/mds.1278.


Bilateral subthalamic nucleus stimulation (STN-DBS) is used to improve parkinsonian symptoms and attenuate levodopa-induced motor complications. In some patients, such clinical improvement allows antiparkinsonian medication (ApMed) withdrawal. We show the clinical outcome at the long-term follow-up of patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) in which STN-DBS was used in monotherapy, and compare the clinical results of patients without medication with those obtained in parkinsonian patients in which ApMed were reduced but could not be totally displaced after surgery. We analyzed clinical outcome of ten patients with PD in which all ApMed was withdrawn after bilateral subthalamic stimulation and 16 parkinsonian patients still taking antiparkinsonian medication after surgery. After 1.5 years, STN-DBS monotherapy produced UPDRS motor scores similar to those observed in the on-drug condition before surgery without the inconvenience of motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. No significant differences were seen in most of clinical outcome measures when comparing patients still taking ApMed with patients in STN-DBS monotherapy but a few patients still taking ApMed presented mild dyskinesias and motor fluctuations and patients with STN-DBS monotherapy did not. STN-DBS is useful in the treatment of advanced PD and in some patients it is possible to maintain this therapy alone in the long term. The therapeutic effect of STN-DBS on motor signs can be equipotent to that of levodopa with the additional benefit of avoiding motor fluctuations and dyskinesias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / surgery*
  • Time


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Levodopa