Weight gain is associated with medial contact site of subthalamic stimulation in Parkinson's disease

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e38020. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038020. Epub 2012 May 30.


The aim of our study was to assess changes in body-weight in relation to active electrode contact position in the subthalamic nucleus. Regular body weight measurements were done in 20 patients with advanced Parkinson's disease within a period of 18 months after implantation. T1-weighted (1.5T) magnetic resonance images were used to determine electrode position in the subthalamic nucleus and the Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS-III) was used for motor assessment. The distance of the contacts from the wall of the third ventricle in the mediolateral direction inversely correlated with weight gain (r = -0.55, p<0.01) and with neurostimulation-related motor condition expressed as the contralateral hemi-body UPDRS-III (r = -0.42, p<0.01). Patients with at least one contact within 9.3 mm of the wall experienced significantly greater weight gain (9.4 ± (SD)4.4 kg, N = 11) than those with both contacts located laterally (3.9 ± 2.7 kg, N = 9) (p<0.001). The position of the active contact is critical not only for motor outcome but is also associated with weight gain, suggesting a regional effect of subthalamic stimulation on adjacent structures involved in the central regulation of energy balance, food intake or reward.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / instrumentation*
  • Electrodes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Subthalamic Nucleus* / physiopathology
  • Weight Gain*