Long-term motor effect of unilateral pallidal stimulation in 26 patients with advanced Parkinson disease

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Object. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects of unilateral pallidal stimulation on motor function in selected patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD).

Methods. The authors enrolled 26 patients with idiopathic PD in whom there was an asymmetric distribution of symptoms and, despite optimal pharmocological treatment, severe response fluctuations and/or dyskinesias. After the patient had received a local anesthetic agent, a quadripolar electrode (Medtronic model 3387) was implanted at the side opposite the side affected or, if both sides were affected, the side contralateral to the more affected side. No serious complications occurred. After 3 months, the total Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS) Part III score decreased by 50.7% while patients were in the off-medication state (from 26.5 ± 9.2 to 13.1 ± 6.1) and by 55.4% while they were in the on-medication state (from 10.6 ± 6.3 to 4.7 ± 4.4). Only during the on state was the contralateral effect clearly more pronounced. The UPDRS Part IVa score decreased by 75% (from 3.7 ± 2.5 to 0.9 ± 1.1) and the UPDRS Part IVb score by 54.7% (from 3.3 ± 1.3 to 1.5 ± 1.3).

At long-term follow-up review (32.7 ± 10.7 months), there was an 8.3% increase in the UPDRS Part III score while patients were in the off state (from 26.5 ± 9.2 to 28.7 ± 7.6) and a 40.2% increase in this score while patients were in the on state (from 10.6 ± 6.3 to 14.9 ± 5.1). The UPDRS Part IVa score decreased by 28.1% (from 3.7 ± 2.5 to 2.7 ± 2.3) and the UPDRS Part IVb score increased by 3.5% (from 3.3 ± 1.3 to 3.4 ± 1.6).

Conclusions. Based on these unsatisfactory results at long-term review, the authors conclude that unilateral pallidal stimulation is not an effective treatment option for patients with advanced PD.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, M.D., Academic Hospital Maastricht, P. O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands. email: vva@snch.azm.nl.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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