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Research paper
Long-term outcome of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease using an MRI-guided and MRI-verified approach
  1. Iciar Aviles-Olmos,
  2. Zinovia Kefalopoulou,
  3. Elina Tripoliti,
  4. Joseph Candelario,
  5. Harith Akram,
  6. Irene Martinez-Torres,
  7. Marjan Jahanshahi,
  8. Thomas Foltynie,
  9. Marwan Hariz,
  10. Ludvic Zrinzo,
  11. Patricia Limousin
  1. Unit of Functional Neurosurgery, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Patricia Limousin, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Box 146, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK; p.limousin{at}


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.


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