Remotely Programmed Deep Brain Stimulation of the Bilateral Subthalamic Nucleus for the Treatment of Primary Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Safety and Efficacy of a Novel Deep Brain Stimulation System

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2017;95(3):174-182. doi: 10.1159/000475765. Epub 2017 Jun 2.


Background: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the most commonly performed surgery for the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson disease (PD). However, DBS systems remain largely unaffordable to patients in developing countries, warranting the development of a safe, economically viable, and functionally comparable alternative.

Objective: To investigate the efficacy and safety of wirelessly programmed DBS of bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients with primary PD.

Methods: Sixty-four patients with primary PD were randomly divided into test and control groups (1:1), where DBS was initiated at either 1 month or 3 months, respectively, after surgery. Safety and efficacy of the treatment were compared between on- and off-medication states 3 months after surgery. Outcome measures included analysis of Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scores, duration of "on" periods, and daily equivalent doses of levodopa. All patients were followed up both 6 and 12 months after surgery.

Results: Three months after surgery, significant decrease in the UPDRS motor scores were observed for the test group in the off-medication state (25.08 ± 1.00) versus the control group (4.20 ± 1.99).

Conclusions: Bilateral wireless programming STN-DBS is safe and effective for patients with primary PD in whom medical management has failed to restore motor function.

Keywords: Deep brain stimulation; Parkinson disease/Parkinsonism; Randomized controlled clinical trials (CONSORT agreement); Subthalamic nucleus.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / instrumentation
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / radiation effects*
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / surgery*
  • Telemedicine
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wireless Technology