06:27pm Tuesday 18 February 2020

Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Improves Motion and Mood, Reduces Medications

“The study answered some very important questions concerning cognition and mood with implantation alone, versus implantation with stimulation. We found that DBS surgery did not increase depressive symptoms, it actually led to an improvement in depression scores, and also led to improvements in motor ability and medication levels,” said Stacy Horn, DO, assistant professor of Clinical Neurology with Penn’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, who led the clinical trial at Penn Medicine and co-authored the paper.

Gordon H. Baltuch, MD, PhD, a professor of Neurosurgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and study co-author, noted that “the group also dropped the infection rate to 4 percent from previously published 10 percent, which shows that, as a field, we are collectively improving the safety of this procedure and working in a collaborative fashion.”

Contrary to previous research, DBS devices implanted in the subthalamic nuclease (StN) did not appear to cause depression. In the study, depression scores improved significantly in the stimulation group at three months, compared to the control group of implanted patients who hadn’t had their devices turned on yet (9.14 versus 1.8 points, using the Hamilton Depression Inventory (HDI) ). The study also shows that DBS using constant current can benefit PD patients, compared with constant voltage configurations.

The study was funded by the DBS device maker, St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division, and, as required by Lancet Neurology, the data was separately analyzed by an independent statistician at an academic institution.

For more, please see the University of Florida press release or the Lancet Neurology article.



Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4 billion enterprise.

Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine is currently ranked #2 in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools and among the top 10 schools for primary care. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $507.6 million awarded in the 2010 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania — recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; and Pennsylvania Hospital – the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Penn Medicine also includes additional patient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2010, Penn Medicine provided $788 million to benefit our community.

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