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Suicide following deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease
  1. John Moriarty
  1. Dr John Moriarty, Department of Psychological Medicine, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK; john.moriarty{at}

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Deep brain stimulation, especially of the subthalamic nucleus, offers patients with advanced motor complications of Parkinson’s disease the prospect of improved mobility and better control over motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. With over a decade’s experience of this procedure and thousands of devices implanted, concerns have been raised in recent years that suicide may be an important cause of mortality in patients having surgery.1 Estimates of how common suicide attempts or completed suicides are following surgery have ranged from 0.16% to 4.3%.1 2 This has been particularly striking in a population traditionally thought of as being at lower than average risk of suicide.3 …

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