Self-adjustment of deep brain stimulation delays optimization in Parkinson's disease

Brain Stimul. 2021 May-Jun;14(3):676-681. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2021.04.001. Epub 2021 Apr 11.


Background: Parkinson's Disease patients undergo time-consuming programming to refine stimulation parameters after deep brain stimulation surgery.

Objective: To assess whether the use of the advanced functions of a patient's programmer would facilitate programming of deep brain stimulation.

Methods: Thirty patients were randomly allocated to the use of advanced versus simple mode of the patient programmer in this single-centre, prospective, randomized, controlled study. Primary outcome was the number of days required to optimize the stimulation settings.

Results: The number of days required to optimize stimulation was significantly lower in the simple mode (88.5 ± 33.1 vs. 142.1 ± 67.4, p = 0.01). In addition, the advanced mode group had a higher number of side effects (5.4 ± 3.1 vs. 2.6 ± 1.9, p = 0.0055).

Conclusions: The use of the advanced functions of patient programmer delays programming optimization and it is associated with a higher number of side effects. These findings highlight the need for other methods for faster and safer stimulation programming.

Keywords: Deep brain stimulation; Parkinson disease; Programming; Surgery; Therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Deep Brain Stimulation*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease* / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome