Background: Subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) represents a well-established treatment for patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) insufficiently controlled with medical therapies. This study presents the long-term outcomes of patients with PD treated with STN-DBS using an MRI-guided/MRI-verified approach without microelectrode recording.
Methods: A cohort of 41 patients who underwent STN-DBS were followed for a minimum period of 5 years, with a subgroup of 12 patients being followed for 8-11 years. Motor status was evaluated using part III of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-III), in on- and off-medication/on-stimulation conditions. Preoperative and postoperative assessments further included activities of daily living (UPDRS-II), motor complications (UPDRS-IV), neuropsychological and speech assessments, as well as evaluation of quality of life. Active contacts localisation was calculated and compared with clinical outcomes.
Results: STN-DBS significantly improved the off-medication UPDRS-III scores, compared with baseline. However, UPDRS scores increased over time after DBS. Dyskinesias, motor fluctuations and demands in dopaminergic medication remained significantly reduced in the long term. Conversely, UPDRS-III on-medication scores deteriorated at 5 and 8 years, mostly driven by axial and bradykinesia subscores. Quality of life, as well as depression and anxiety scores, did not significantly change at long-term follow-up compared with baseline. In our series, severe cognitive decline was observed in 17.1% and 16.7% of the patients at 5 and 8 years respectively.
Conclusions: Our data confirm that STN-DBS, using an MRI-guided/MRI-verified technique, remains an effective treatment for motor 'off' symptoms of PD in the long term with low morbidity.
Keywords: NEUROSURGERY; PARKINSON'S DISEASE.
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