Body weight gain rate in patients with Parkinson's disease and deep brain stimulation

Mov Disord. 2003 Nov;18(11):1337-40. doi: 10.1002/mds.10543.


We evaluated body weight changes in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) after electrode implantation for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in relation to clinical improvement. Thirty PD patients who received STN DBS were included (22 men, 8 women; mean age, 60.0 +/- 7.1 years; mean PD duration, 13.5 +/- 3.7 years; mean body mass index [BMI], 21.6 +/- 3.0 kg/m2). Body weight, physical activity, and Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scores were noted before and 3 and 12 months after the procedure. Significant weight gain occurred in 29 patients; the mean increase was 14.8 +/- 9.8% of initial body weight in 1 year. Of the patients, 46.5% reported weight gain in the first 3 months, 21.4% gradual weight gain in the first 6 months, and 32.1% a slow increase for 1 year. Mean BMI increased up to 24.7 +/- 3.7 kg/m2. After 1 year, mean UPDRS motor score improved significantly in off and in on; and therapy complications improved by 91.0 +/- 17.0%. BMI changes at 3 and 12 months were significantly correlated to dyskinesia score changes, and levodopa dosage was not. In PD, STN DBS produces not only symptom control, but also weight gain. DBS candidates should be given nutritional counseling before the intervention to prevent rapid and/or excessive weight gain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Electric Stimulation / adverse effects
  • Electric Stimulation / instrumentation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Gain*