Side-effects of subthalamic stimulation in Parkinson's disease: clinical evolution and predictive factors

Eur J Neurol. 2006 Sep;13(9):963-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2006.01405.x.


Chronic bilateral high-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is an alternative treatment for disabling forms of Parkinson's disease when on-off fluctuations and levodopa-induced dyskinesias compromise patients' quality of life. The aim of this study was to assess the evolution of side-effects during the first year of follow-up and search for clinical predictive factors accounting for their occurrence. We compared the frequency of side-effects at 3 and 12 months after surgery in a cohort of 44 patients. The off-medication scores of Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) II, III, axial symptoms, disease duration and age at surgery were retained for correlation analysis. Dysarthria/hypophonia, weight gain and postural instability were the most frequent chronic side-effects. Whereas dysarthria/hypophonia remained stable over time, weight gain and postural instability increased during the first year post-op. High axial and UPDRS II scores at surgery were predictive of dysarthria/hypophonia. Age and axial score at surgery were positively correlated with postural instability. Despite the occurrence of side-effects, the benefit/side-effects ratio of STN stimulation was largely positive during the first year of follow-up. Age, intensity of axial symptoms and UDPRS II off-medication score before surgery are predictive factors of dysarthria/hypophonia and postural instability after surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / adverse effects*
  • Dysarthria / etiology
  • Dyskinesias / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiopathology*
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / radiation effects*
  • Treatment Outcome