Current Practice and the Future of Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy in Parkinson's Disease

Semin Neurol. 2017 Apr;37(2):205-214. doi: 10.1055/s-0037-1601893. Epub 2017 May 16.


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective therapy for Parkinson's disease patients experiencing motor fluctuations, medication-resistant tremor, and/or dyskinesia. Currently, the subthalamic nucleus and the globus pallidus internus are the two most widely used targets, with individual advantages and disadvantages influencing patient selection. Potential DBS patients are selected using the few existing guidelines and the available DBS literature, and many centers employ an interdisciplinary team review of the individual's risk-benefit profile. Programmed settings vary based on institution- or physician-specific protocols designed to maximize benefits and limit adverse effects. Expectations should be realistic and clearly defined during the evaluation process, and each bothersome symptom should be addressed in the context of building the risk-benefit profile. Current DBS research is focused on improved symptom control, the development of newer technologies, and the improved efficiency of stimulation delivery. Techniques deliver stimulation in a more personalized way, and methods of adaptive DBS such as closed-loop approaches are already on the horizon.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Deep Brain Stimulation*
  • Globus Pallidus
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Subthalamic Nucleus
  • Treatment Outcome