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Keywords:

  • akinesia;
  • subthalamic nucleus;
  • deep brain stimulation;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • grip force

Abstract

Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) reduces akinesia in Parkinson's disease but its impact on fine motor functions was unknown. We assessed the effects of DBS and a levodopa (L-dopa) test on the timing of the precision grip in 18 patients. Improvement on UPDRS-items reflecting hand functions and the shortening of the first phases of the precision grip were more distinct in the L-dopa test than in the pure STN-DBS condition. Other akinesia items and the time for build-up of lifting force were equally improved in both conditions. This suggests that routine STN-DBS might not be equally effective on all aspects of fine motor functions. © 2003 Movement Disorder Society