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More Benefits Found In Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s

While it is well-recognized that deep brain stimulation (DBS) improves motor symptoms of patients with early and advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD), new research finds that DBS also reduces the number and severity of non motor symptoms.

“Non-motor features are common in PD patients, occur across all disease stages, and while well-described, are still under-recognized when considering their huge impact on patients’ quality of life,” said Lisa Klingelhoefer, M.D.

For example, DBS of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is effective for alleviating sleep problems and fatigue associated with PD, producing noticeable long-term improvements in sleep efficiency and the quality and duration of continuous sleep.

DBS also decreases nighttime and early morning dystonia and improves nighttime mobility.

“DBS can contribute to better sleep, less daytime somnolence, improved mobility, and less need for dopamine replacement therapy,” said Klingelhoefer.

Emerging evidence now indicates that DBS can decrease the number and severity of non motor symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) as well, according to a review published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

However, the effects of DBS on some other non-motor symptoms of PD are less clear-cut, and transient worsening of neuropsychological and psychiatric symptoms have been reported.

For instance, behavioral disorders such as impulsivity (e.g. hypersexuality, pathological gambling, and excessive eating) can occur or worsen in PD patients after STN DBS.

While pre-existing drug-induced psychotic symptoms like hallucinations often disappear after STN DBS, transient psychotic symptoms such as delirium may emerge in the immediate post-operative period.

Similarly, conflicting reports have found that STN DBS improves, worsens, or does not change mood disorders such as depression, mania, or anxiety.

“Further work is required in order to fully understand the mechanisms and impact of DBS of the STN or other brain structures on the non-motor symptoms of PD,” concluded Klingelhoefer.

She suggests that in the future, non-motor symptoms of PD may become an additional primary indication for DBS.

Source: IOS Press

More Benefits Found In Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). More Benefits Found In Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/06/26/more-benefits-found-in-deep-brain-stimulation-for-parkinsons/71734.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.