Stridor and dysphagia associated with subthalamic nucleus stimulation in Parkinson disease

Case report

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Refractory symptoms in Parkinson disease show good response to deep brain stimulation (DBS). This procedure improves United Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale scores and reduces dyskinesias, whereas speech and swallowing dysfunction typically do not improve and may even worsen. Rarely, DBS can cause idiosyncratic dystonias of muscle groups, including those of the neck and throat. The authors describe a patient experiencing stridor and dysphagia with confirmed pulmonary restriction and aspiration following subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulator adjustment, with a resolution of symptoms and signs when the stimulator was switched off.

Abbreviations used in this paper: DBS = deep brain stimulation; PD = Parkinson disease; STN = subthalamic nucleus.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Oluwakemi Fagbami, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center, 6th and Spruce Streets, West Reading, Pennsylvania 19612. email:

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online August 5, 2011; DOI: 10.3171/2011.7.JNS11602.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.




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