Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders

Curr Opin Neurol. 2013 Aug;26(4):374-80. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0b013e3283632d08.


Purpose of review: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is now widely used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, tremor, and dystonia. This review examines recent developments in the application of DBS to the management of movement disorders.

Recent findings: In Parkinson's disease, recent work has demonstrated that early DBS may have a significant benefit on quality of life and motor symptoms while permitting a decrease in levodopa equivalent dosage. Thalamic DBS continues to be a well established target for the treatment of tremor, although recent work suggests that alternative targets such as the posterior subthalamic area may be similarly efficacious. The treatment of primary dystonia with DBS has been established in multiple recent trials, demonstrating prolonged symptomatic benefit.

Summary: DBS is now an established symptomatic treatment modality for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. Future work will undoubtedly involve establishing new indications and targets in the treatment of movement disorders with further refinements to existing technology. Ultimately, these methods combined with biologically based therapies may catalyze a shift from symptomatic treatment to actually modifying the natural history of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Movement Disorders / therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Thalamus / physiology