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Long-term cognitive profile and incidence of dementia after STN-DBS in Parkinson's disease



An effect of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on cognition has been suspected but long-term observations are lacking. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term cognitive profile and the incidence of dementia in a cohort of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients treated by STN-DBS. 57 consecutive patients were prospectively assessed by the mean of a neuropsychological battery over 3 years after surgery. Dementia (DSM-IV) and UPDRS I to IV were recorded. 24.5% of patients converted to dementia over 3 years (incidence of 89 of 1,000 per year). This group of patients cognitively continuously worsened over 3 years up to fulfilling dementia criteria (PDD). The rest of the cohort remained cognitively stable (PD) over the whole follow-up. Preoperative differences between PDD and PD included older age (69.2 ± 5.8 years; 62.6 ± 8 years), presence of hallucinations and poorer executive score (10.1 ± 5.9; 5.5 ± 4.4). The incidence of dementia over 3 years after STN-DBS is similar to the one reported in medically treated patients. The PDD presented preoperative risk factors of developing dementia similar to those described in medically treated patients. These observations suggest dementia being secondary to the natural evolution of PD rather than a direct effect of STN-DBS. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society